Does Stencila have collaborative editing for text documents?

Hello Stencila community,

I am one of the developers working on the OAEProject, an open source collaboration platform for academia. While OAE has pretty extensive filesharing functionalities, our collaborative editing features are at the moment limited to basic text docs with Etherpad. We’ve had users requesting we integrate something that would allow them to also create and work on spreadsheets inside OAE instead of always needing to go to Google docs, and this led me to Stencila. However, I noticed that Stencila supports documents as well and was wondering what the status of this support is; for example, is there support for collaborative editing for two researchers working together on the same report? I also thought I’d take this opportunity to say hi :wave: and congratulations for this awesome project!


Hello @sallakarppinen - thanks for your Q! I’m excited to read about the work that’s happening at OAEProject! Will you be at Mozfest, Force17 (or anywhere else we will be)? Love to chat in person. Agree that collaborative editing is really what researchers want, but as you know it can be tricky to get it right. @nokome can talk more about our thoughts in this area.

Hi there @daniellecrobinson

I’m the tech lead for the OAEProject and I’ll be pulling some strings to make my way to Mozfest later this month (I live in Brighton). I’d love to have a chat with you and talk about our future plans. We’re currently looking into some possible collaboration opportunities, so I’m really glad we found you and that we’re able to talk soon.

I’d also like to know more about your ideas on how to get collaborative editing working, since that’s something we’re very interested in.

_ miguel

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Hi @sallakarppinen and @miguellaginha,

Thanks for getting in touch - there looks to be a lot of opportunities to collaborate between OAEProject and Stencila. Congratulations on your work so far!

Re “Does Stencila have collaborative editing for text documents?”. The short answer is “yes, but not right now” :slight_smile: . The long answer is: both Stencila Documents and Sheets are based on @michael and @oliver’s Javascript library for web-based content editing. Substance has collaborative editing “builtin” but requires application specific implementation of the backend collaboration engine. I did that about a year ago for Stencila but it’s been put on the back burner while we prioritise the development of UI, execution engine and context’s and storage formats. As things stabilise in those areas over the next few months we hope to go back to realtime collaboration. Right now it’s fairly low on the prority list - but that may change if enough people (like you) ask for it.

Let’s discuss some more at MozFest!



Thanks for all the info, that’s really useful. :slight_smile: Unfortunately I won’t be able to make MozFest but I know @miguellaginha is attending and I look forward to hearing back from him about your discussions. I really hope we get a chance to collaborate!

@sallakarppinen where are you based? We are traveling quite a bit this season and may be able to link up.
@miguellaginha great to hear you’ll be at Mozfest! Let’s make time to grab a chat and :coffee:

@daniellecrobinson, I’m based in Finland so a bit out of the way for most things unfortunately… Although I do frequently visit London as well. For OAE I think the next conference we’ll be at will be the Educause ELI annual meeting.

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