Online collaboration tools

June 1, 2020 — April 13, 2023

computers are awful together
photon choreography
Figure 1

The goal-oriented version of DIY socials.

I do not want google docs knowing everything about me, but I want to work with my peers. What are my alternatives for collaborative document editing, collaborative equation formatting, collaborative project management?

1 Psychologoy, sociology, other theory

See online collaboration.

2 Forums

3 All-in-one

3.1 Affine

Some of the most important features are:

  • Transformable
  • Every block can be transformed equally
    • e.g. you can create a todo in Markdown in the text view and then later edit it in the kanban view.
  • Every document can be turned into a whiteboard
    • An always good-to-read, structured docs-form page is the best for your notes, but a boundless doodle surface is better for collaboration and creativity.
  • Atomic
  • The basic elements of AFFiNE are blocks, not pages.
    • Blocks can be directly reused and synced between pages.
  • Pages and blocks are searched and organized based on connected graphs, not tree-like paths.
  • Dual-link and semantic search are fully supported.
  • Collaborative and privacy-first
  • Data is always stored locally by default
  • CRDTs are applied so that peer-to-peer collaboration is possible

3.2 Clickup

4 Documents

Figure 2

I should raid one of the alternatives lists and compare the options there. Notion and Nuclino are famous in this realm.

If you absolutely must work on an MS word doc, you could try simuldocs, which is a realtime microsoft collaborative editor.

  • Upwelling: Combining real-time collaboration with version control for writers.

    Collaboration features of existing software do not sufficiently meet the needs of professional non-fiction writers. Real-time collaboration in cloud applications like Google Docs can create stress when writers feel watched by their co-authors, and file-based collaboration can introduce difficulty with versioning and merging edits from different co-authors. Further, in environments where accuracy is crucial, like newsrooms, existing tools make reviewing changes unnecessarily difficult.

    In the Upwelling project we have built an experimental editor that aims to satisfy the needs of professional writers and editors. It allows co-authors to collaborate in real time when they wish to, but it also supports work on private drafts that can be shared and merged only when their authors are ready. By combining elements of real-time collaboration with ideas from version control systems, Upwelling supports writers in maintaining their creative privacy and editors in ensuring accurate results.

5 Task management

6 Whiteboards/diagrams

See online whiteboards.

7 Videoconferencing

See videoconferencing.

8 Mathematics

For now the only game in town for mathmatical documents is Overleaf (formerly ShareLaTeX) This is a collaborative, open-source browser-based online LaTeX editor. See its entry.

9 Coding

Here are some untested online tools that promise realtime code collaboration.

9.1 IDE sharing

Live share for VS code is the thing I am currently auditioning. It converts VS Code into a real time collaboration environment It can even run a webserver version of VS code, so your collaborators do not need to install VS Code. Caveat: does not yet support jupyter notebooks.

For Atom there is teletype.

Floobits: Commercial. Supports Sublime text, Atom, Neovim, Emacs, IntelliJ Idea USD15/month for 5 …somethings. Projects? Users?

9.2 Browser-based apps

None of these have the infrastructure I want and are not recommended. If youa re developing web-facing JS apps, they might work better for you.

10 Incoming

plutoview is collaborative web-surfing.