msevior (msevior) wrote,

How to use Part 3

Real time collaboration

This post is public domain. Feel free to copy and paste where ever you like.

My first two posts showed some basic operations of and how one could go about finding the friend you want to collaborate with.

Now I'll talk about the killer feature: Real Time Collaboration!

To set up a document for Real Time Collaboration, one simply sets the permissions to "view & collaborate" for the friend with whom you want to work with the "share" link associated with the document.

Then choose who you want from your list of friends.

Click on "save settings" and the permissions are set!

The document now appears in the list of documents available for your friend. Since you've allowed your friend to collaborate on the document, it shows up on the list of documents he can work on. The friends "my documents" view is shown below.

Now you open the document by just clicking on its name and it opens in your AbiWord. Remember you need version 2.8 or later. You start typing away....

(Your version of AbiWord shown below)

OK, now your friend logs in and sees a new document, shared with him. He decides to edit it too and so opens it. It loads into his version of abiword.

Hey presto we have a Real Time Collaboration!
So both of you can type away in the document, editing as you wish while you see each others changes in real time. If either press "save" in their AbiWord, the current version gets saved into the history of the document on the website.

I just want to point out a couple of things. Your friend did not actually download the document from the website. It had never even been saved! Instead what has happened is that the two have established a peer-to-peer collaboration via a router daemon. The website joined a connection from you to a connection to your friend and passed traffic between the two of you. After that the two AbiWord's transferred the document and established the collaboration.

Consequently everyone is guaranteed to always see the absolute latest version of the document!

We've totally eliminated the edit=>email to colleague=> update/comment/fix => email =>update/comment/fix => email... cycle.

There are many other very cool things about AbiWord's real time collaboration but I'll save them for other posts.

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