Monday, March 29, 2010

Catch of the Day - EtherPad Alternatives - 29 Mar 10

Today our catch yields a bunch of alternatives to the popular online collaboration tool, EtherPad

EtherPad is a great easy-to-use tool for simple, real-time collaboration of text documents. Multiple people can edit the same document simultaneously with any changes instantly reflected on everyone's screen.

On 4 December 2009, it was announced that AppJet Inc. (the parent of EtherPad) had been acquired by Google and the EtherPad team would continue its work on realtime collaboration by joining the Google Wave team.

Because of strong reaction to this news, on 5 December 2009, Aaron Iba (former CEO of AppJet) announced that pad creation from the EtherPad home page would be re-enabled and would be maintained at least until the code had been open sourced.

On 17 December 2009, the EtherPad source code was released. This has resulted in the birth of several EtherPad clones on the web. As you can see from the screenshots which follow, these clones have been faithful to the original EtherPad concept, one to the point of not even changing the name in the title bar.

The original EtherPad




In so far as I can tell, there is no functional difference among these. Pick anyone you like to get the EtherPad experience. If you discover anthing unique to any one of these, please add it to the comments.

You can even get directions for running your own etherpad server here.



Shamblesguru said...

For alternative BackChannel tools such as Etherpad .. and other options see the list at
Tips about BackChanneling can also be found on Shambles at

Mrs. Tenkely said...

Great! Didn't know that there were SO many alternatives. Nice to have our pick when a tool we get accustomed to using goes away, very nice that the look and functionality is the same, that makes the transition with students much easier.

Pam Thompson said...

Thanks for these alternatives. My class has really enjoyed using etherpad so I'm glad we will be able to continue.

I think that Primarypad may have a free period, then you have to pay.

Unknown said...

Check out -

It is based on etherpad and is my favorite etherpad alternative. I tested ietherpad and piratepad and finally chose I love the desktop client - (it works on my Mac!) and I can quickly access my notes. Thanks for sharing this list of alternatives.

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