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Open Source Collaborative and Presentation Tools?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the everone-on-the-same-page dept.

Software 28

An anonymous reader asks: "I've been asked to discuss collaboration tools at un upcoming meeting. Things like Groove, DocuShare, and WebEx all have significant costs associated with them, so I'm curious to know what everyone on Slashdot is using (if anything). What kind of software would you use to enable simultaneous document editing with version control, or to sync presentations across participant browsers for an online meeting, etc?"

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it's not open source but... (3, Informative)

c0bw3b (530842) | more than 9 years ago | (#13083818)

SubEthaEdit [] is pretty sweet. Free for personal use, 35$ for commercial use isn't too bad...

Collaborative Editing (2, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 9 years ago | (#13096338)

SubEtha's collaborative editing is cool, but I like other editors. Fortunately, you can also have collaborative editing in many other text editors.

DocSynch [] is a plugin for jEdit [] which used IRC for collaborative editing.

SangamPlugin [] adds collaborative editing to Eclipse [] .

Old school? Use VimSynch [] or Emacs [] or any text-mode editor with screen [] .

You got asked this on a saturday? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13083828)

Give em the finger (both barrels if need be) and tell em to fuck off until monday.

Terrible saturday topic. Like I want to think about work stuff.

well (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13083836)

I'm not sure what you mean by "simultaneous document editing with version control", that just sounds like a bunch of buzzwords. However, to sync a presentation accross multiple browsers wouldn't be hard.

Just make a website that has regular pages, and an admin page. The admin page requires a login, which enables a bar at the top which when clicked will progress to the next page, and sets a value in a database for the regular pages to find.

The regular pages have no way to reach the next page, except for a javascript HttpXMLRequest that is run every 5 seconds. The request is to a page which returns the value in the database set by the admin page. If the admin page has not gone to the next page yet, the request returns false, else it returns true and the javascript redirects to the next page automatically.

Fun stuff.

Not OSS but free (1)

shodson (179450) | more than 9 years ago | (#13083967)

Try NetMeeting + a Wiki

Re:Not OSS but free (2, Interesting)

AdamPiotrZochowski (736869) | more than 9 years ago | (#13084115)

not free, needs windows
not real time collaborative, netmeeting can have only one cursor in a file
not real time collaborative, wiki wont let you see real time as someone else is typing

Re:Not OSS but free (1)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 9 years ago | (#13084164)

"ot real time collaborative, wiki wont let you see real time as someone else is typing"

countdown till someone makes an AJAX'ian wiki...3....2.....1....


(I think that would be both maddening and intriguing at the same time)

it would be real time collaborative (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 9 years ago | (#13086799)

Netmeeting can be used to share a single browser window pointed at a Wiki.

And if one doesn't like Netmeeting, one can user an OSS application that supports H.323 such as GNOMEMeeting

Re:Not OSS but free (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 9 years ago | (#13091935)

not free, needs windows

This is like saying "not free, needs a computer".

Re:Not OSS but free (0, Troll)

Phillup (317168) | more than 9 years ago | (#13093733)

As I look around myself, I see eight computers... and a window.

But, no computers with Windows.

For the record, none of them even came with Windows.

So... how is it the same?

Wrong market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13084271)

Anybody who uses CVS isn't a likely candidate to use sophisticated collaboration tools.

Funny you should mention that. (2, Interesting)

holy zarquon's singi (640532) | more than 9 years ago | (#13084808)

I've just been employed by a group of academics to come up with something like this over the next 6 months or so. My requirements were open source, perl and apache based with the flexibility to server copyright and draft material to group members, and public domain/less sensitive stuff to anyone. I'm now using Maypole [] and judicious use of the Template Toolkit, I'm hoping to open source it at the end, and get some employment in my field of choice using it as leverage too.

Trac SCM (3, Interesting)

Ankle (633399) | more than 9 years ago | (#13085172)

I can recommend Edgewall's trac [] for a svn server/wiki/project manager. It is F/OSS and very flexible in my experience. I am using it for a development community similar to the idea of sourceforge but much smaller and dedicated to extensions/distros/etc of a single OSS project. I am also using it for my own projects and I can highly recommend it.

Re:Trac SCM (2, Informative)

Artega VH (739847) | more than 9 years ago | (#13085285)

I totally agree. Easy to setup - dead simple to use. Has features than "Enterprise" wiki's (such as confluence) don't have.

The timeline feature alone is worthwhile - throw in the Roadmap. All it needs is a better ticket workflow (selectable per ticket) and it easier support for multiple projects and it would be perfect.

Hidden Costs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13085475)

""I've been asked to discuss collaboration tools at un upcoming meeting. Things like Groove, DocuShare, and WebEx all have significant costs associated with them, so I'm curious to know what everyone on Slashdot is using (if anything). "

What costs beyond monetary, and what does F/OSS do to correct them?

Maybe try Groupkit (1)

HeyNonnyMoscowHerd (604232) | more than 9 years ago | (#13085542)

I haven't used it for a few years, but you might want to take a look at GroupKit ( [] and on Sourceforge). It has things like shared workspaces, whiteboards and chat capabilites.

Also, a Google search for "CSCW" (Computer Supported Collaborative Working -- the term used in academic circles for this kind of thing) may throw up some useful stuff.

links: WikiPedia entry, Gobby, Yarrr (1)

bshanks (520250) | more than 9 years ago | (#13085721)

There's a list of collaborative real-time document editors at WikiPedia:Collaborative_real-time_editor [] One of them is Gobby [] , which is multi-platform and free software. But you want version control, too; so I guess that would be a wiki which support real-time simultaineous editing. Some of the wikis have been talking about this (example [] ), but I don't know if it's been implemented yet. I believe one project along those lines is the Yarrr extension to MediaWiki [] .

VNC and audioconferencing (1)

AnuradhaRatnaweera (757812) | more than 9 years ago | (#13086055)

Check out Tight VNC [] and a good audio connection.

A new OSS website for Open Source collaboration. (1)

heller (4484) | more than 9 years ago | (#13086481)

I've recently started a new site designed for professional Open Source collaboration. Treffpunkt ( [] ) has a suite of tools that is designed for professional development teams to manage their projects, track time and tickets, and even use a wiki and file storage for sharing notes and files, such as specs and documentation. Though it may not be exactly what you're looking for, it is Open Source Software and mean for Open Source developers.

It's meant to be an easy to use single point of contact for all of any given developer's projects, regardless of who the client may be. Peter George over at Logicalware ( [] and -open-source-project.html [] )
seems to agree with its ease of use philosophy, "Treffpunkt convinces me of its usability within five minutes, and I'm sold."

** Martin

Re: Collaborative tools (2, Informative)

legirons (809082) | more than 9 years ago | (#13086805)

"What kind of software would you use to enable simultaneous document editing with version control, or to sync presentations across participant browsers for an online meeting?"

MediaWiki []

It's been used to edit a 600,000-page document over at Wikipedia [] , where it seems to cope okay with about 6000 simultaneous editors. It has version control, file uploads, image support, etc. which means that you should be able to create most types of document with it.

Windows Sharepoint Services (1)

demongp (881564) | more than 9 years ago | (#13087025)

I know this is probably going to be shot down - and its not open source - but Windows Sharepoint Services from MS is quite cool and free. I suggest you check it out - its quite customisable and very easy to use.

microsoft built-in and others (2, Informative)

rakerman (409507) | more than 9 years ago | (#13089280)

Not open-source, but Microsoft has some built-in features, and there is some other software available. I blogged about a couple times: collaborative editing [] and NetMeeting + Word collaborative editing [] .

What kind of document? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13090755)

You don't say whether you're talking about text or not. If you are talking about binary data, like images, then its very hard to support that sort of feature. About the best you'll do is a SQL database with metadata about the changes. CVS or RCS is just pitiful with collaborative effort with binary data.

And having a lesbian sit on your face and spew in your mouth is pleasing to purple fuzzy dice.

Nifty one (2, Informative)

krisbrowne42 (549049) | more than 9 years ago | (#13090985)

Coccinella []
This is a Jabber client with integrated whiteboard, all built in TCL/Tk so it builds and runs on Windows, Linux and OS X.

Groove (2, Informative)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 9 years ago | (#13092063)

Just to throw in my thoughts on Groove, as a comparison:

We use Groove for coordinating a small development team in the US, UK and Germany. We bought Groove because we wanted a common communication, calendar and file store. It's generally quite nice, but:

The bad:
- It's very slow. The task management (Gantt chart) tool becomes unusably slow with any reasonably sized project.
- The chat tool is crap. We went back to xchat after a few days trying to use it.
- The UI is annoying, with lots of unneccessary flashing and changes

The good:
- Most of the tools are pretty good: meetings, web link repository etc all work nicely
- File syncing seems to work pretty well

It's a very nice idea and it works pretty well, it's just not quite well polished enough yet. An OSS alternative virtual office would be very welcome: I would imagine a lot of it could be built using already complete projects: webdav, rsync etc.

TWiki (1)

Gori (526248) | more than 9 years ago | (#13092696)

We ue TWiki, [] as a center of a international scientific collaboration. We have currently about 70 users, not all equally active.

It has fairly extensive plugin structure, a very nice pdf export functions and extensive access controls. Sometime IM chats logs are just copy-pasted straight in. If you use your wiki words consistently, it all tightly integrates conceptually. The RSS feeds are also very useful. Kind of a delayed chat...

This is especially great since we have people on four continents collaborating, and timezones are widely spread.

We use it mainly to build knowledge and internally peer-review it and co-author scientific papers. You can even use it as a presentation tool, with a browser on full screen.

Dont know if this is what you need but it works like a charm for us. And it is all GPL, and written in perl.

Best Collaboration tools for Pros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13107761)

Try MERMIG.COM for a true J2EE-based Open source collaborative solution with all the bells and whistles you can handle!

You may want to check out Silk (1)

el_chicano (36361) | more than 9 years ago | (#13117161)

I ran across Silk the other day and it seems promising. Silk is a GPLed general purpose web-based collaborative framework based on J2EE. I am not sure if it does everything you need but it is currently under active development. The project home page is located at [] and there an online demo [] available.
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