Collaboration & sharing sites or software

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Paul-Michael Agapow

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Jan 20, 2010, 4:40:01 AM1/20/10
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So here's something I thought was a solved problem but isn't: document sharing with collaborators. 

Most of you would be familiar with the usual process of writing a paper with collaborators: you send out a draft, colleague A sends it back with additions and corrections, a week later colleague B asks for a copy as he has misplaced your email, C sends it back with additions that you have to merge with A's, D wants to know if "this" (random old copy) is the current version, A sends back more corrections, but based on an old copy, C turns out to have used an old version of the bibliography, B asks for the latest version as he has misplaced your email again, D asks "where are we with this?" ...

I know, it would be a lot easier if everyone would use a version control system, checking copies in and out. But realistically, there should be a way to securely and easily share documents with colleagues, so they can just go to the site and get the latest version, and maybe upload their own versions. But that's not so easy:

1. I once did this with an ftp site, but it was a little raw (unpolished) and no-one took to it.
2. Scispace looked like it would allow such a thing but upon examination it seems to be more of a blogging site, where documents can be only private or public.
3. I tried doing something like this with a conventional CMS (Plone) but the uploading and admin was a bit of a drag.
4. Dropbox works fine (put it in a folder on your computer and share the url) but it's a strictly one way solution. 

Many solutions founder upon the administration of users and accounts - if people can't keep track of a manuscript, how can they possibly remember a user name and password? So, any experiences?

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Paul-Michael Agapow (pma+e...@agapow.net)

 

Jan Erik Moström

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Jan 20, 2010, 5:14:47 AM1/20/10
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On 10-01-20 at 10:40, aga...@gmail.com (Paul-Michael Agapow) wrote:

>I know, it would be a lot easier if everyone would use a version
>control system, checking copies in and out. But realistically, there
>should be a way to securely and easily share documents with
>colleagues, so they can just go to the site and get the latest
>version, and maybe upload their own versions. But that's not so easy:

Isn't that exactly what a version control system does? (from a
simplistic point of view)

If you don't want to run a server yourself there are some pretty
good hosted ones. But a basic use of a version control system
seem the be easy enough (especially if a good GUI client is used).

There are also hosted version of version control systems,
Github, Google Code, etc that perhaps can be used.

- jem
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Jan Erik Moström
http://mostrom.eu

Michael Rowe

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Jan 20, 2010, 1:32:42 PM1/20/10
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I'm sorry if I'm missing something here, but wouldn't Google Docs or
Zoho fix this problem? I use Docs to collaboratively write articles
and proposals with my students and it works like a charm.

> Paul-Michael Agapow (pma+eff...@agapow.net <p...@agapow.net>)

Benjamin Belton

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Jan 20, 2010, 1:36:05 PM1/20/10
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Pardon me if i am missing something, but Google docs (docs.google.com) seems to do this very well. 

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Benjamin Kuperman

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Jan 20, 2010, 1:42:23 PM1/20/10
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On Jan 20, 4:40 am, Paul-Michael Agapow <aga...@gmail.com> wrote:
> So here's something I thought was a solved problem but isn't: document
> sharing with collaborators.

[snip]


> 4. Dropbox works fine (put it in a folder on your computer and share the
> url) but it's a strictly one way solution.

I'm not sure I understand why you describe Dropbox as one-way. If you
share a folder with someone, it appears in both of your Dropboxes and
any changes people make to the contents is shared with everyone. It
worked quite well with a 3-party project I was working on recently.

Lalit Ramchandani

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Jan 24, 2010, 12:59:59 PM1/24/10
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I believe Textflow may be your answer when it comes to bringing in or deleting changes from other versions of the document. 
Adding 2 cents (without elaboration) to managing different versions, it seems that the process along with communication to different parties needs more refinement than the tools. That's often the case with human interaction with softwares.


Lalit

"The process is always messier than the beginning or the end."

Lalit / Lit Ramchandani
Master of Accounting Student

Graduate Assistant
School of Economic Development
Georgia Southern University

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lalitr
Professional Feedback + Resume Available: http://rlalit.googlepages.com/
How to say Lalit - http://j.mp/3tJYoC

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On Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 4:40 AM, Paul-Michael Agapow <aga...@gmail.com> wrote:

yarapavan

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Jan 27, 2010, 9:56:38 AM1/27/10
to The Efficient Academic
My 2 Cents:

* Google Wave
* etherpad ( now that it is opensourced, you can have it installed and
try!!)
* Microsoft Live Suite?
* Zoho colloboration??


~
Pavan Yara
@yarapavan

On Jan 24, 10:59 pm, Lalit Ramchandani <rla...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I believe Textflow may be your answer when it comes to bringing in or
> deleting changes from other versions of the document.
> Adding 2 cents (without elaboration) to managing different versions, it
> seems that the process along with communication to different parties needs
> more refinement than the tools. That's often the case with human interaction
> with softwares.
>
> Lalit
>
> "The process is always messier than the beginning or the end."
>
> Lalit / Lit Ramchandani
> Master of Accounting Student
>
> Graduate Assistant
> School of Economic Development
> Georgia Southern University
>
> LinkedIn:http://www.linkedin.com/in/lalitr
> Professional Feedback + Resume Available:http://rlalit.googlepages.com/

> How to say Lalit -http://j.mp/3tJYoC

> > Paul-Michael Agapow (pma+eff...@agapow.net <p...@agapow.net>)


>
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