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Open Source Collaborative and Presentation Tools? 28

An anonymous reader asks: "I've been asked to discuss collaboration tools at un upcoming meeting. Things like Groove, DocuShare, and WebEx all have significant costs associated with them, so I'm curious to know what everyone on Slashdot is using (if anything). What kind of software would you use to enable simultaneous document editing with version control, or to sync presentations across participant browsers for an online meeting, etc?"
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Open Source Collaborative and Presentation Tools?

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  • by c0bw3b ( 530842 ) <> on Saturday July 16, 2005 @06:55PM (#13083818) Homepage
    SubEthaEdit [] is pretty sweet. Free for personal use, 35$ for commercial use isn't too bad...
    • by Noksagt ( 69097 )
      SubEtha's collaborative editing is cool, but I like other editors. Fortunately, you can also have collaborative editing in many other text editors.

      DocSynch [] is a plugin for jEdit [] which used IRC for collaborative editing.

      SangamPlugin [] adds collaborative editing to Eclipse [].

      Old school? Use VimSynch [] or Emacs [] or any text-mode editor with screen [].
  • Try NetMeeting + a Wiki
  • I've just been employed by a group of academics to come up with something like this over the next 6 months or so. My requirements were open source, perl and apache based with the flexibility to server copyright and draft material to group members, and public domain/less sensitive stuff to anyone. I'm now using Maypole [] and judicious use of the Template Toolkit, I'm hoping to open source it at the end, and get some employment in my field of choice using it as leverage too.
  • Trac SCM (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ankle ( 633399 ) <jan,pingel&me,com> on Sunday July 17, 2005 @01:15AM (#13085172) Homepage
    I can recommend Edgewall's trac [] for a svn server/wiki/project manager. It is F/OSS and very flexible in my experience. I am using it for a development community similar to the idea of sourceforge but much smaller and dedicated to extensions/distros/etc of a single OSS project. I am also using it for my own projects and I can highly recommend it.
    • Re:Trac SCM (Score:3, Informative)

      by Artega VH ( 739847 )
      I totally agree. Easy to setup - dead simple to use. Has features than "Enterprise" wiki's (such as confluence) don't have.

      The timeline feature alone is worthwhile - throw in the Roadmap. All it needs is a better ticket workflow (selectable per ticket) and it easier support for multiple projects and it would be perfect.
  • I haven't used it for a few years, but you might want to take a look at GroupKit ( [] and on Sourceforge). It has things like shared workspaces, whiteboards and chat capabilites.

    Also, a Google search for "CSCW" (Computer Supported Collaborative Working -- the term used in academic circles for this kind of thing) may throw up some useful stuff.

  • There's a list of collaborative real-time document editors at WikiPedia:Collaborative_real-time_editor [] One of them is Gobby [], which is multi-platform and free software. But you want version control, too; so I guess that would be a wiki which support real-time simultaineous editing. Some of the wikis have been talking about this (example []), but I don't know if it's been implemented yet. I believe one project along those lines is the Yarrr extension to MediaWiki [].
  • Check out Tight VNC [] and a good audio connection.
  • I've recently started a new site designed for professional Open Source collaboration. Treffpunkt ( []) has a suite of tools that is designed for professional development teams to manage their projects, track time and tickets, and even use a wiki and file storage for sharing notes and files, such as specs and documentation. Though it may not be exactly what you're looking for, it is Open Source Software and mean for Open Source developers.

    It's meant to be an easy to use single
  • by legirons ( 809082 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @11:40AM (#13086805)
    "What kind of software would you use to enable simultaneous document editing with version control, or to sync presentations across participant browsers for an online meeting?"

    MediaWiki []

    It's been used to edit a 600,000-page document over at Wikipedia [], where it seems to cope okay with about 6000 simultaneous editors. It has version control, file uploads, image support, etc. which means that you should be able to create most types of document with it.
  • I know this is probably going to be shot down - and its not open source - but Windows Sharepoint Services from MS is quite cool and free. I suggest you check it out - its quite customisable and very easy to use.
  • by rakerman ( 409507 ) on Sunday July 17, 2005 @07:37PM (#13089280) Homepage Journal
    Not open-source, but Microsoft has some built-in features, and there is some other software available. I blogged about a couple times: collaborative editing [] and NetMeeting + Word collaborative editing [].
  • Nifty one (Score:2, Informative)

    Coccinella []
    This is a Jabber client with integrated whiteboard, all built in TCL/Tk so it builds and runs on Windows, Linux and OS X.
  • Groove (Score:3, Informative)

    by BenjyD ( 316700 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @06:26AM (#13092063)
    Just to throw in my thoughts on Groove, as a comparison:

    We use Groove for coordinating a small development team in the US, UK and Germany. We bought Groove because we wanted a common communication, calendar and file store. It's generally quite nice, but:

    The bad:
    - It's very slow. The task management (Gantt chart) tool becomes unusably slow with any reasonably sized project.
    - The chat tool is crap. We went back to xchat after a few days trying to use it.
    - The UI is annoying, with lots of unneccessary flashing and changes

    The good:
    - Most of the tools are pretty good: meetings, web link repository etc all work nicely
    - File syncing seems to work pretty well

    It's a very nice idea and it works pretty well, it's just not quite well polished enough yet. An OSS alternative virtual office would be very welcome: I would imagine a lot of it could be built using already complete projects: webdav, rsync etc.
  • by Gori ( 526248 )
    We ue TWiki, [] as a center of a international scientific collaboration. We have currently about 70 users, not all equally active.

    It has fairly extensive plugin structure, a very nice pdf export functions and extensive access controls. Sometime IM chats logs are just copy-pasted straight in. If you use your wiki words consistently, it all tightly integrates conceptually. The RSS feeds are also very useful. Kind of a delayed chat...

    This is especially great since we have people on four conti
  • I ran across Silk the other day and it seems promising. Silk is a GPLed general purpose web-based collaborative framework based on J2EE. I am not sure if it does everything you need but it is currently under active development. The project home page is located at [] and there an online demo [] available.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.