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Real-time Topic Edit Plugin Idea

This is an idea that occurred when I was trying to use TWiki in managing university courses, where we had to write lots of large reports. When people want a document made ready really fast, it would mean that everybody would write his own share about a subtopic, send it to the person who puts it together and he finishes the document. The problem is that it is not often possible, only if the problem/report is clearly separable to tasks. And even then the inputs from the other people would be somewhat difficult to combine into sensible whole, in most cases. Instead, what if we could edit the same document simultaneously?

Here comes the alternative approach; Imagine that you create a topic, which is supposed to be worked on by two people simultaneously. The topic would automatically lock the chapters or sections you are working on, but let the other person edit the rest of the topic. As you proceed, you can see what the other person has done, since the topic is updated every n seconds, simultaneously merging the two documents (updating the locked chapters/sections and releasing the locks). Both writers would be free to add a new section at any time. So what is the benefit? Both editors can work on the same document and actually see what the other is doing, so they could merge their contributions themselves, while they write. So no need for third person to do this.

This could just as well serve as brainstorming tool for system/other designers, who don't live nearby each other. They could arrange a meeting to assemble ideas on TWiki. Probably the page could have a chat as well, to support the brainstorming.

How to accomplish this complex task? With my experience from perl/ajax/other web technologies, I cannot tell. Possibly it would require a database for fast transactions and Ajax for real-time screen updates.

(Another crazy idea by...)

-- MikkoLaakso - 26 Jan 2007

The technology already exists: SynchroEdit. What is needed is an editor integration with SynchroEdit.

-- PeterThoeny - 26 Jan 2007

Wow, amazing :D. Wasn't that crazy after all then... I'm really looking forward to this, thanks for the link!
//edit: I checked the picture, it looks just like I want it. I bet this would really change the way people create documents.

-- MikkoLaakso - 28 Jan 2007

TopicClassification PluginBrainstorming
TopicSummary A plugin that would enable a topic to be editable by two (+n) people simultaneously


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Topic revision: r3 - 2007-01-28 - MikkoLaakso
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