Technically, Lorea is PHP-based static multi-page (each time you change page, you make a new petition to the server).
On the other hand, Kune is GWT-developed, AJAX-powered, a single-page “rich internet application“. For example, if you move here and there in Kune and click backwards in your browser, you will see the chat doesn’t move or disconnect, and you can do simultaneous things with minimal interaction with the server. Being single-page, the server and client only exchange the bits of additional info needed.
Twitter used to be a static multi-page web application, but nowadays it has evolved, being more similar (technologically-wise) to Kune (or Google Docs, Gmail…). Such “rich internet applications” behave as if the user interacts with a desktop application.
In Lorea you can write real-time docs using pads (as in etherpad/piratepad). However, pads don’t behave like waves: they are just plain text, that is, you cannot integrate a map, a video, a gadget, or anything there. They also require lots of effort to bridge the different functionalities (user permissions, groups, embedding, federation…) with the rest of the software/modules.
Kune focuses not just on social network communication but on real-time collaboration. Thus, all contents within Kune are waves that allow multiple users to collaborate in real-time (simultaneously) writing a document, tagging a map, building a video gallery, filling a calendar of events, or whatever. In waves you can do anything, not just deal with text. Waves are part of the Kune structure, so they are already integrated in everything, at the protocol level.
Lorea can be extended through modules, written in PHP and extending Lorea’s code. Those modules can be integrated and run as part as the Lorea software, the same way as a Drupal module. Thus, different “distributions” could contain different Lorea modules.
Lorea implements OpenID to allow inhabitants from several lorea-seeds (servers) move from one to other. Content is also federated by OStatus to replicate it in several networks (descentralizating it), and this allows to have several points to view, edit and comment the content.
Kune does not use OpenID, OAuth or OStatus for the federation, but the Wave Federation Protocol (an extension for the XMPP protocol). The idea is that you would have one account in one Kune, and collaborate with anyone in any Kune server (or wave-powered server)… from your Kune inbox. Any group can have users from several “Kunes”, but also any user can share a personal document with any user with a Kune account. Besides, in the user inbox, she can see all the waves (documents, galleries, events, etc) in which she is participant, in any Kune. Think of it as in email: you have your email account in one particular server, and you can send emails to anyone, regardless of where do they have their accounts. And from your inbox you can interact with them, in an easy and transparent way.
Note that the protocol XMPP is only used for server-to-server communication in the federation of waves, not in usual server-client communication. Kune has also a XMPP-chat but this is independent from the wave protocol. Thus, a username in Kune such as [email protected] can be invited to a wave in Kune.cc, in other Kunes (different from kune.cc) and be invited to a chat conversation from a XMPP chat (such as Jabber or Gmail).