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Q: Collaborative web-based authoring tool(s) ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Collaborative web-based authoring tool(s)
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: hedgie-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 24 Dec 2003 03:33 PST
Expires: 23 Jan 2004 03:33 PST
Question ID: 289973
There is a web site - somewhere on the web - which allows you to log-in,
for free, enter a text, and invite your colaborators (give them passwords)
to edit the test. You - the author, then can view your text, line-by-line
with all proposed changes, and finalize the text, by
accepting/rejecting/merging the chages.
What the URL of this site?
If possible, site should support more then latin-1 (e.g. unicode)
If there is more, then a brief review/evaluation would be appreciated.

Request for Question Clarification by joseleon-ga on 24 Dec 2003 05:10 PST
Hello, hedgie:
  By what you say, the system works like a wiki? It is that? Or a site
to write "books" and "articles"?


Clarification of Question by hedgie-ga on 25 Dec 2003 05:03 PST
I am thinking about an document perhaps 50 pages long, with 5 to 100 
 'collaborators' - the end result being set of  HTML pages (or one pdf or
any of such formats which can be easily reformated into each other).

 So book or article differes realy just by length as I see it.
 Let's call it document.

The site I have seen - and cannot find any more 
differs from wiki in that it shows all proposed line variants in one window
  (wiki, as I looked at it so far, shows a 
 'last version' and  I can get any previous version in another window.
RCS (tool for programmers) and its variant do the same thing.

If I have 5 versions, I would have to cut and paste between five windows
each with full text. I can run 'diff (a unix command) but it still clumsy.

  So, what I am looking for looks like this

suppose I have coworkers: ann, charlie, graham.
1) I see my text
2) I click on any line, e.g. line 34 and get a window which shows
line 34: 
my-line:  Ibe verry hapu
charlie:  I be ..
ann:          was very  happy?
graham:   I will be 

  and there are tools, which allow me to select the one I think is best
                       or merge suggestions

so I and up with 

   I will be very happy

and that (the final perfect line) jumps back into when I say OK

and I proceed to next line 

Clarification of Question by hedgie-ga on 25 Dec 2003 06:07 PST
This one is close
            Additional months: $10 per-user per-month.     

 I think  found that site     again

  it promises:
         No downloads: graphical WYSIWIG editor is browser-based

      No uploads: just click Save, and your edits are online

      No bills: free hosting (storage/bandwidth limits TBA)

      No complicated URLs: just point people to

      No experience required: anyone who can use a browser can use Bloki   

I will no check if it really does it.

Request for Question Clarification by joseleon-ga on 25 Dec 2003 13:44 PST
Hello, hedgie:
  The closest thing I know that is similar to what you need is Drupal:

But I think it's not what you are looking for, could you tell us more
things you remember?


Clarification of Question by hedgie-ga on 26 Dec 2003 17:03 PST
Hello joseleon-ga

   The site I have seen is However, now, after spending
some time with it, it seems it does not have all the features I am
looking for. is very interesting. It seems that it allows
collaborative authoring. I am reviewing it now. Main problem is the
complexity to the
'editor'. Editors are people I invite to improve/edit my text. They
may give me 1/2 hour of their time, but they will not spend 5 days
mastering whole
Drupal.  If you could find a short tutorial which an 'editor' can read
and then edit my text, I would accept Drupal as an answer.


Request for Question Clarification by joseleon-ga on 27 Dec 2003 06:37 PST
Hello, hedgie:
  Well, I think there is no such document, but I think it's because
it's really simple, I mean, I would like you to tell me more about the
way you want to work with your editors, because with the Drupal Book
Module, you create the structure of your book, and you can write
pages, others can edit the content, you review the changes..., I can
post such document here.

Please, let me know.


Clarification of Question by hedgie-ga on 28 Dec 2003 01:56 PST
-- I want to write a page or two
               post it on a site

and send a email message to 5 friends, saing

" At URL  is a text I need help with
                         please correct my English, ideas, etc .

Here is how you do it:
                         Text "

The Text, less then 1 page, is what's missing.
          It can contain pointers, no need to replicate what is posted
          It should be acessible to intellident non-geek
That's all

Clarification of Question by hedgie-ga on 30 Dec 2003 02:08 PST
I entered  text to drupal - that was simple.
    But I cannot figure out how to edit it, not even as an uthor 
    (some page have 'edit this' option on bottom, some do not
     and search for 'HOWTO set permissions' leads to error messages
     page not available). So I found drupal very complex.

Are you working on HOW-TO-EDIT text, or did you gave up?

     It seems to me, 
                       If GA cannot not find it, it does not exists.

 The closest may be: PHPwicki

which says: for PhpWiki 1.1.7 

 Some major new features have been added, including diffs between page
versions, page hit counting, a set of administrative functions
including page locking and ..
                 I also found GUI diffs: xxdiff and kdiff tools, which
come close to diff and merge feature I described,
  so perhaps the only solution would to add this to PHPwicky,
  to replace diff with graphical version of diff?

Request for Question Clarification by joseleon-ga on 02 Jan 2004 09:31 PST
Hello, hedgie:
  Sorry, I was out this week due holydays, I get back on this question.

Are you still interested in drupal or in a wiki system? There are many out there.


Clarification of Question by hedgie-ga on 17 Jan 2004 18:48 PST
Well, yes.

I did look at the wikis, used wikipedia in particular.

 It shows delta, but not the
way I need it - which is

  LATEST version of the each user, side by side with my latest vesion.

I do  not need  more on wikis.

If you do have simple HOWTO text for drupal, please post it as an answer.
I did not figure drupal out as yet.

Subject: Re: Collaborative web-based authoring tool(s)
Answered By: joseleon-ga on 20 Jan 2004 13:13 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello, hedgie:
  Sorry for not to answer this question earlier, I didn't see it
because it was not answered and I had some problems with my e-mail.
Here is a brief HOWTO use Drupal and don't die trying it ;-) The only
problem with it, it's that is so open that it takes some time to catch
it, so let's see it from three points of view: Administrator, Writter,

If you are the administrator of the site, you can manage all of it,
but at first, you need to configure how Writters and Viewers are going
to work. The first you need to create are Roles:

-Enter the site as administrator and go to the Administer option you
will find on the right
-Click on accounts and then in roles, you will see anonymous user and
authenticated user, ok
-Now add a new role called 'writter', you can change at any time its description
-Now, on the right options, click on permissions, there should be a
new column called writter
-Check the boxes "access content", "administer nodes" and "mantain
books", once you master the tool, you can change these permissions to
make the system work the way you want
-Also check the "access content" of anonymous users (this is just for
this tutorial)
-Now go to the accounts option and select new user, fill the form and
create a new user
-Now go again to accounts and edit the newly created user, on the
bottom you can choose the role, select writter
-And logout as admin

-Now login with the writter account you created before
-Once you login, there should be a create content option on the menu, select it
-And now click on the book page
-This is the main work form, where your writters will be able to write the book 
-There are several options on the top:
 Published: The changes will be published
 In moderation queue: The changes will be submitted for approval
 Promoted to front page: The page will be shown on the front page
 Static on front page: The page will remain on the front page
 Create new revision: The changes will create a new revision
-You can setup the default options if you log in as an admin, and
select Manage | Content | Settings
-Be sure just these options are checked: In moderation queue, Promoted
to the front page, Create a new revision, the rest remain unchecked
-Write a title for your page, just is an ID
-Now select the parent of that page, here is where lies the great
versatility of drupal, you can create the structure of your book and
then, writters can place the content where it should be
-Select <root>
-Enter some content on the body
-Click on submit
-A message will appear, if you click view, you couldn't see your page,
because it hasn't been published, you have submited your page for
-Now logout

-If you don't log in, we have setup to allow anonymous users to view
content, but there is no content still published, so let's login as
admin again

Publishing content
-Now, if you login as an admin, an click on administer, you will see a
new event, that tells you that a new page has been added
-Click on content, and the submitted page should be there, with status
"not published"
-Click on the edit node link, review changes and mark it as published
and uncheck the "in moderation queue" check box, this way, other
writters can submit content
-Submit the page, now all viewers can see that page, log out to check it

Another writter wants to modify a page
-Log in as writter again
-Now you can see your newly submitted page and two links at the
bottom, click on "edit this page"
-You can fully edit this page, add new content, etc, add to the body
"These are some changes"
-Check the In moderation queue one, this way you are submitting your
changes for approval
-Submit your page and if you try to view your page again, your changes
are not published
-Now is task that some administrator or some user with revision
capabilities, publish those changes, let's login as an admin again

-If you login as admin and access the content section, you will see
your last modified page at the top, click on Edit node
-You will see the last contents, and scroll down to the bottom, you
will see the history of changes on that page
-You can view any previous revision, rollback until that revision or delete one

Well, this is how Drupal works, at first instance it's really
complicated but once you catch it, it's really simple, the key is to
install a test system and try, try, try ;-). I hope this information
is useful to you, but please, don't hesitate to request for any
clarification, I'm here to help you.

hedgie-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
 I appreciate the amount of work you have done. It was useful mainly
in confirming my impression that tool I was looking for, (already
simple, available for free, and showing several versions at once) does
not exist. Sometime negative result is a useful info. For now, I would
use a wiki,
(which was I think your first suggestion).

Subject: Re: Collaborative web-based authoring tool(s)
From: pinkfreud-ga on 24 Dec 2003 09:33 PST

You might want to read the section of this article entitled "Paperless
Publishing and Collaboration" to see whether anything strikes your
Subject: Re: Collaborative web-based authoring tool(s)
From: hedgie-ga on 25 Dec 2003 05:20 PST
Thanks for the suggestion pinkfreud
   What I am looking for is not software but existing website,
so that I (but mainly the coworkers) do not need to install anything.

I realize I did not revealed what I already know (which is begginers error) 
I poked around and found:

wiki, VEBdav, ercim
and stuf in

but nothing which offers the capability, described above

May be it was just a dream? A wunschErfilu'ng  ??

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