Cross-platform collaborative editing over IRC?

After the eye-opening experience with SubEthaEdit at the GetTogether, the Cocoon team is looking for collaborative editing / whiteboard tools for the upcoming First Fridays.

I’ve been searching for tools, and tought it would be good to use IRC as the underlying protocol, as we’re planning to use it anyway for “voice” communications and it can be tunneled via SSH over firewalls.

Also, the client software has to be cross-platform, and SubEthaEdit currently works on macosx only.

After some digging, it looks like DocSynch might fit the bill: it is a plugin for JEdit, and uses IRC to exchange data.

We’ll have to try this one out! There is some additional info on Lars Trieloff’s weblog, where I first found mention of it.

Update: looks like, unlike SubEthatEdit, DocSynch requires exclusive locking of the whole document for editing. Makes it…less useful than I initially thought.

3 Responses to Cross-platform collaborative editing over IRC?

  1. It is true that I am not really allowing real-time editing as Hydra does it, simply because of two reasons: the communication via IRC implies a quite high latency and I dont have appropriate algorithms for real-time editing available.

    I personally do not see the necessarity for two or more people actually working on the same document at the same time. Acquiring/releasing a mutex is simply a matter of one shortcut… Additionally I plan to implement some kind of automatic mutex acquiring when you start to type and an automatic release after some short time to improve the comfort for the user.

    Last but not least the main advantage I see is that with DocSynch you can use all features built into jEdit and it’s whole bunch of useful plugins.

    After DocSynch has reached a final step, I plan to start the same thing as plugins for other editors, thus making it a simple choice.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Alex

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  3. Blogging the 2003 Cocoon GetTogether: revisited

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