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flangazor

Unity Collaborative Editing -what could make it better?

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Continued from here... Most editors only work with one person at a time. However, there are a few that allow synchronous editing of a document. These collaborative text editors include SubEthaEdit and MoonEdit. In the previous thread, Version Control Systems (VCS)[1] were basically set forward as asynchronous collaborative editing. I have a lot of questions on the topic, but to get things started, let's just consider one: What functional requirements would you put forward for a synchronous collaborative editing environment? e.g. 1) Undo-redo graph based on time, edit (aka patch), and user 2) File access controls (read-only; read write) 3) VCS integration 4) Host ownership of the file [1] VCS include ClearCase, CVS, darcs, and Subversion [Edited by - flangazor on August 1, 2005 1:36:02 PM]

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A wiki could be considered to be a collaborative 'document', and have to address pretty much all of the same issues. While not properly synchronous they do scale rather well.

Much like version control, I suppose you end up with two major options - simultaneous editing with intelligent merges when the same bits get changed at the same time or some kind of locking mechanism so only one person can modify any given bit.

For a text document locking might work rather well if done on a per-paragraph basis (and locking/unlocking was all done automatically as you placed your cursor inside/outside the paragraph). Other users could then see locked paragraphs with a different background colour and your changed happening as fast as the network would allow.

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Good point about the wiki - though the editors in wikis are just crummy text edit boxes (from what I've seen).

I happen to know that darcs is based on a patch algebra and works on a line by line basis -so locking based on line could work. Also, for the locking semantics, vi looks exceptionally elegant.

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