Is there any software that will let users edit a wiki-like document without requiring a central server or network access?
January 29, 2004 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Know of any software that will let multiple users edit a wiki-like document without requiring a central server or network access? [...]

It has to run on OS X. In general, some Wiki software would be fine, but I don't want to be tied to the web to use it. A user should be able to use it on a plane and then synchronize his changes with the other users when he lands. There are a lot of different note-taking programs for OS X that seem good (dylanthink, boswell...) but I can't find any info on the webpages about multiple users editing the same knowledge repository at the same time and merging it, CVS-style. It seems like there would be tons of stuff like this, but I spent quite a long time googling and I couldn't find anything.

Any ideas?
posted by jeb to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
 
Well, VoodooPad and VPWiki might be part of what you want. It will let you each carry around an offline Wiki and edit each other's when you're all on-line, but it won't let you all edit the same pages off-line and merge changes.

Um, wait - how about just using CVS?
posted by nicwolff at 1:11 PM on January 29, 2004


people here use cvs and latex (or simple text). you can't use cvs with word because the format is binary (so it won't merge). you might be able to get away with openoffice (saving data as xml), but i suspect some merges will give illegal xml.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:27 PM on January 29, 2004


Does SubEthaEdit require a server? It certainly allows multiple editors of documents, and some other cool sounding collaboration features, but I admit there aren't enough Mac OS X users for me to try it out at my company.
posted by JollyWanker at 1:30 PM on January 29, 2004


To my knowledge, SubEthaEdit is Rendezvous-based, meaning it would not require any centralization--it just finds all other Rendezvous-enabled SubEthaEdit users on the local network and allows you to connect to [none|some|all] of them for collaboration.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 2:01 PM on January 29, 2004


without requiring a central server or network access

Without network access, how will other users connect to the document? You have to have a local network at least.
posted by mathowie at 2:10 PM on January 29, 2004


SubEthaEdit can connect via internet access also, you don't have to be on a local network, it does not require a server for either connection mode. It can also color code html and css and other code types. It's fun.

But, like matt says, i mean, you have to have some sort of network, I don't really understand that part of your question.
posted by rhyax at 10:45 PM on January 29, 2004


A user should be able to use it on a plane and then synchronize his changes with the other users when he lands.

I'm pretty sure that's what he means by 'no network access'.
posted by ook at 10:04 AM on January 30, 2004


A user should be able to use it on a plane and then synchronize his changes with the other users when he lands.

This is what jeb means by no network access. i.e. temporarily no network access, followed by a resync when network availability returns.
posted by finn at 10:08 AM on January 30, 2004


SubEthaEdit looks cool but it's not what I'm looking for. Voodpad/VPWiki look promising. I'm checking them out, thanks for the tips. Probably gonna end up just going with html in cvs, though. And finn and ook are right about the network thing.
posted by jeb at 10:56 AM on January 30, 2004


A user should be able to use it on a plane and then synchronize his changes with the other users when he lands.

I don't think this is really possible, since there's no way to do locking. How are you going to keep others from changing the document while one user is editing it?
posted by kindall at 12:13 PM on January 30, 2004


I don't think this is really possible, since there's no way to do locking. How are you going to keep others from changing the document while one user is editing it?

You'd have to incorporate some sort of version control system a la CVS. A big part of wikis is the fact that they maintain changes so that you can roll them back, perform diffs on different versions, etc. In fact, many wikis already incorporate some sort of basic locking mechanism. If you edit a page in MoinMoin it is locked for 15 minutes and anyone else who tries to edit it will be given a warning message.

Given this, it wouldn't be too much of a leap to take the next step and incorporate a decentralized system. Discrepancies between "checked out" pages would mean you'd have to do a merge when you reconnected with the "master" wiki. The hard part, I think, would be making this as transparent and usable as possible inside the framework of the wiki.
posted by finn at 12:48 PM on January 30, 2004


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