Source Code Management as groupware solution for VO?

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Source Code Management as groupware solution for VO?

Herbert Sitz
I was just thinking about VO and interest a few people seem to have in using shared VO files in groupware situation.  Aren't the issues here pretty much the same as those with source code control?  One major reason to use source control is so that programming teams can collaborate on same project.  With some systems this includes allowing multiple coders to work on same file, to allow commits of changes, and to alert a committing user and allow them to fix things only if an unresolvable conflict exists.  Seems to me like those wanting VO Groupware could just put their .otl files into an appropriate source control system (svn, git, or others) on a central server.

Checking files into and out of source control does add a little bit of complexity to process of using files.  It's easy to get used to, though, and vim has plugins that simplify using many source control systems from within vim itself.

Just an idea. . .

-- Herb
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Re: Source Code Management as groupware solution for VO?

Steve Litt
On Friday 16 October 2009 00:35:26 Herbert Sitz wrote:

> I was just thinking about VO and interest a few people seem to have in
> using shared VO files in groupware situation.  Aren't the issues here
> pretty much the same as those with source code control?  One major reason
> to use source control is so that programming teams can collaborate on same
> project.  With some systems this includes allowing multiple coders to work
> on same file, to allow commits of changes, and to alert a committing user
> only if an unresolvable conflict exists.  Seems to me like those wanting VO
> Groupware could just put there .otl files into an appropriate source
> control system (svn, git, or others) on a central server.
>
> Checking files into and out of source control does add a little bit of
> complexity to process of using files.  It's easy to get used to, though,
> and vim has plugins that simplify using many source control systems from
> within vim itself.
>
> Just an idea. . .
>
> -- Herb

Hi Herb,

I asked a few weeks or months ago whether any of the major source code
management tools worked on partial files instead of whole files, and the answer
was no. So it would seem to me that the groupware would have to be based on
hoists to separate files or master outlines with links to individual outlines
farmed out to individuals. The former scares me to death due to my initial
experience with hoisting.

The latter's OK, but the groupware I really had in mind was ten people sitting
in a room and every one of them could mark up the same VO at once. Perhaps
it's as simple as everyone accessing VO from a VNC session and having some
software arbitrate who has control of it at any one time.

SteveT


--
Steve Litt
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http://www.recession-relief.US
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stevelitt


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Re: Source Code Management as groupware solution for VO?

Lucas González
Tried gobby?  http://gobby.0x539.de/trac/

I wonder if gobby might be VOed.  Probably not.  Period.

Lucas

2009/10/16 Steve Litt <[hidden email]>:

> On Friday 16 October 2009 00:35:26 Herbert Sitz wrote:
>> I was just thinking about VO and interest a few people seem to have in
>> using shared VO files in groupware situation.  Aren't the issues here
>> pretty much the same as those with source code control?  One major reason
>> to use source control is so that programming teams can collaborate on same
>> project.  With some systems this includes allowing multiple coders to work
>> on same file, to allow commits of changes, and to alert a committing user
>> only if an unresolvable conflict exists.  Seems to me like those wanting VO
>> Groupware could just put there .otl files into an appropriate source
>> control system (svn, git, or others) on a central server.
>>
>> Checking files into and out of source control does add a little bit of
>> complexity to process of using files.  It's easy to get used to, though,
>> and vim has plugins that simplify using many source control systems from
>> within vim itself.
>>
>> Just an idea. . .
>>
>> -- Herb
>
> Hi Herb,
>
> I asked a few weeks or months ago whether any of the major source code
> management tools worked on partial files instead of whole files, and the answer
> was no. So it would seem to me that the groupware would have to be based on
> hoists to separate files or master outlines with links to individual outlines
> farmed out to individuals. The former scares me to death due to my initial
> experience with hoisting.
>
> The latter's OK, but the groupware I really had in mind was ten people sitting
> in a room and every one of them could mark up the same VO at once. Perhaps
> it's as simple as everyone accessing VO from a VNC session and having some
> software arbitrate who has control of it at any one time.
>
> SteveT
>
>
> --
> Steve Litt
> Recession Relief Package
> http://www.recession-relief.US
> Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stevelitt
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> VimOutliner mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.lists.vimoutliner.org/mailman/listinfo
>
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Re: Source Code Management as groupware solution for VO?

Herbert Sitz
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
Steve Litt wrote
I asked a few weeks or months ago whether any of the major source code
management tools worked on partial files instead of whole files, and the answer
was no. So it would seem to me that the groupware would have to be based on
hoists to separate files or master outlines with links to individual outlines
farmed out to individuals. The former scares me to death due to my initial
experience with hoisting.

The latter's OK, but the groupware I really had in mind was ten people sitting
in a room and every one of them could mark up the same VO at once. Perhaps
it's as simple as everyone accessing VO from a VNC session and having some
software arbitrate who has control of it at any one time.
That's definitely different groupware situation than I was thinking (which was obviously closer to programmers working in same source file).  Sounds like what you want is something more like multiple users editing vim /VO with interactive whiteboard software.  But as far as I'm aware the operation of  whiteboard software provides a single screen on which everyone can participate and at the same time see what others are doing.   How or why ten people could edit different parts of a large text file at same time and also see what the others are doing in real time is a mystery to me.  I don't quite get it. Or, at least, I don't see the problem that isn't solved by accessing vim/VO through whiteboard software layer.

The source code management system could have limited use in the "ten people in a room" scenario by having each edit different parts of same file (with parts to be assigned simply by user agreement) and then each commit their changes.  Some users could be reviewing the master version while others were editing different parts of checked out versions.  If some users ended up editing same parts by mistake then they'd be alerted to differences at time of commit.  Could have very short editing sessions of a few minutes (seconds?) or so between commits and reviews of edits.  I expect that doesn't solve your use case but it may be an option for some.  It actually gets pretty close to the alternative of having users checking out (or hoisting) different parts of same file that are reassembled in a master file.  It would have have (potential) downside that each user has full file and could theoretically edit whatever they wanted.  But that can also be seen as an upside; since if two or more users make incompatible changes same part of document they would be alerted when the second commits and have chance to review the differences.  In addition, the SCM could provide diff files (side by side in vim) to quickly and easily show the precise changes each user had made to master file, and provide simple rollback of any not wanted.

By the way, I've never had any bad experience with Noel's initial method of hoisting to external file.  I'm hoping VO will retain both methods of hoisting and not just jettison the original one.  There are situations where hoisting externally is preferable.

-- Herb
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Re: Source Code Management as groupware solution for VO?

Steve Litt
On Friday 16 October 2009 10:04:07 Herbert Sitz wrote:
> Steve Litt wrote:

> > The latter's OK, but the groupware I really had in mind was ten people
> > sitting
> > in a room and every one of them could mark up the same VO at once.
> > Perhaps it's as simple as everyone accessing VO from a VNC session and
> > having some software arbitrate who has control of it at any one time.
>
> That's definitely different groupware situation than I was thinking (which
> was obviously closer to programmers working in same source file).  Sounds
> like what you want is something more like multiple users editing vim /VO
> with interactive whiteboard software.  But as far as I'm aware the
> operation of  whiteboard software provides a single screen on which
> everyone can participate and at the same time see what others are doing.  
> How or why ten people could edit different parts of a large text file at
> same time and also see what the others are doing in real time is a mystery
> to me.  I don't quite get it.

You'd use it for group brainstorming similar to
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8810772602188234059# starting at
30:20, but with everyone marking up the outline instead of just one guy.

> Or, at least, I don't see the problem that
> isn't solved by accessing vim/VO through whiteboard software layer.

Is there open source whiteboard software that runs on Linux? If so, that
certainly takes care of the problem.

SteveT
 
Steve Litt
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http://www.recession-relief.US
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stevelitt


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Re: Source Code Management as groupware solution for VO?

Lucas González
gobby?

2009/10/16 Steve Litt <[hidden email]>:

> On Friday 16 October 2009 10:04:07 Herbert Sitz wrote:
>> Steve Litt wrote:
>
>> > The latter's OK, but the groupware I really had in mind was ten people
>> > sitting
>> > in a room and every one of them could mark up the same VO at once.
>> > Perhaps it's as simple as everyone accessing VO from a VNC session and
>> > having some software arbitrate who has control of it at any one time.
>>
>> That's definitely different groupware situation than I was thinking (which
>> was obviously closer to programmers working in same source file).  Sounds
>> like what you want is something more like multiple users editing vim /VO
>> with interactive whiteboard software.  But as far as I'm aware the
>> operation of  whiteboard software provides a single screen on which
>> everyone can participate and at the same time see what others are doing.
>> How or why ten people could edit different parts of a large text file at
>> same time and also see what the others are doing in real time is a mystery
>> to me.  I don't quite get it.
>
> You'd use it for group brainstorming similar to
> http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8810772602188234059# starting at
> 30:20, but with everyone marking up the outline instead of just one guy.
>
>> Or, at least, I don't see the problem that
>> isn't solved by accessing vim/VO through whiteboard software layer.
>
> Is there open source whiteboard software that runs on Linux? If so, that
> certainly takes care of the problem.
>
> SteveT
>
> Steve Litt
> Recession Relief Package
> http://www.recession-relief.US
> Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stevelitt
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> VimOutliner mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.lists.vimoutliner.org/mailman/listinfo
>
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Re: Source Code Management as groupware solution for VO?

Herbert Sitz
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
Steve Litt wrote
You'd use it for group brainstorming similar to
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8810772602188234059# starting at
30:20, but with everyone marking up the outline instead of just one guy.
In some ways an SCM solution would be preferable to that.  I want to see a person's edits, and I want to see exactly how they've changed things.  But I don't want to pause the meeting to watch them actually type in all their changes.

With an SCM solution you could have single master server that's always displayed on a projector (or viewed in VNC viewers at each workstation), but users make their changes on local versions that they then commit to the server and update master document.  You get instant submission of changes by participants, but participants remain free to  make changes whenever they want and then just commit them to make viewable by the group.

Not saying that's a good solution for you, but someone may like working that way.

Steve Litt wrote
Is there open source whiteboard software that runs on Linux? If so, that
certainly takes care of the problem.
Good question, I don't know.  And I'm not sure "whiteboard" is correct term, since I think some whiteboard software simply gives users ability to draw graphically on a surface, not actually use an app.  There may be some platform-neutral "web meeting" solutions that work over html, eg., WebEX.  Even if those work, however, don't know of any free ones.

-- Herb
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Re: Source Code Management as groupware solution for VO?

Herbert Sitz
In reply to this post by Lucas González
Lucas González wrote
gobby?
Neat product, but it looks like it's tied exclusively to the gobby editor.   Is that right?

Even if it's tied to gobby editor, you could read a VO file into the editor and work on it collaboratively.  You'd just lose all the special VO abilities.