What an interesting question. I just came off of a heavy PDF project
using Distiller for Unix. Very intense stuff.
To start, all of your collaborators will need to have the full
registered version of Acrobat 5.0 - no free readers allowed here!
Now, for a bit of background - WebDAV handles all the heavy lifting
for you via additional HTTP headers. It runs over the standard port
80 communications, so no special hoops have to be jumped thru.
Instead of re-telling the story of how to use it, just follow these
To learn how to connect to a WebDAV hosted document read this, and
connect to a test server:
PlanetPDF Acrobat 5 WebDAV Demo
For more information about PDF collaboration read this reprint from
PlanetPDF - PDF Collaboration In Action - WebDAV
And, how file locking works with WebDAV:
"...members of a team can use WebDAV to work on the same document at
the same time, without being in the same place. Only an Internet
connection is required. The shared access is implemented by functions
such as file locking and version control. The locking feature allows a
user to temporarily block access to a file while he or she is working
with it. Once the changes are completed, it is unlocked again. Locking
and unlocking happen automatically, controlled by WebDAV, to avoid a
PlanetPDF - Sidebar: WEbDAV - The HTML Communications Standard
And to your first question, where can we host this? Well, if it
really is just the three of you, and one of you has an OSX box with
Apache and mod_dav installed, (should be there by default), just stick
that machine on a cable modem or DSL connection and reference that IP
address in Acrobat. If that is not an option, I found a few hosting
providers for you that support WebDAV:
Weberie supports WebDAV, and costs between $10 and $20 a month
Landmann InterACTIVE supports WebDAV, but pricing is per project. I'd
bet it won't be much for a few meg of space and access for your PDFs.
They also look like Mac gurus, the sites are hosted on BSD - Darwin
Mojodata.com offers WebDAV support for their accounts, at $20 a month
mydocsonline.com uses the WebDAV protocol, but I'm not sure if you can
open Acrobat documents directly within their service. Pricing starts
at $10 a month.
The WebDAV projects page lists many other servers and services you may
want to look into:
I wish you luck on your project!
mod_dav for Apache Webservers
WebDAV by Rael Dornfest at O'Reilly Network, 03/26/2002