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This page is a collection of opinions, feature requests and ideas for improved collaboration between LyX users and non-/other LyX users.
Turn LyX into a powerful, rich-text, interactive chatting tool:
Turn LyX into a peer-to-peer distributed & interactive on-line document editor. Key elements of the idea are:
Several technical issues:
This was somewhat discussed on the mailing list in preparation of a GSoC proposal for 2013 that wasn't selected in the end:
Usually only one author governs the layout, so when you share your document with a co-author, you only want him or her to edit the content. Ideally: you save your document as plain text, your co-authors can open this plain text in their own editor, edit the text, give back another plain text file and you now want to merge this plain text file with your LyX file and accept/reject the changes.
Develop a parallel ultra-light-weight full-view LyX version with these features:
Diff two LyX files and show the differences which can be accepted or rejected.
Right now, we have 2-way merge in the form of Tools-Compare.
This can be done
There was a large correspondence on the Users' list about the use of the PDF format with annotations for collaboration.
Etherpad (http://etherpad.org) is now open sourced (and packaged for debian). It allows realtime collaboration between multiple users. thinking out loud here but... Ideally, LyX could use etherpad as a backend or perhaps push/pull updates
Some early scripted syncing with Ruby http://jdleesmiller.blogspot.com/2009/05/amazing-ruby-rake-etherpad-latex.html
There have emerged a number of online LaTeX collaboration tools that are useful for collaboration. Two of particular mention are:
FidusWriter http://fiduswriter.com(approve sites)
ShareLaTeX https://www.sharelatex.com/(approve sites)
Fiduswriter is in beta but has full source code available. It aims to create an easy to use WYSIWYG interface with a LaTeX back end. It certainly doesn't support all the features of LyX files bust may be a useful means of getting feedback on documents in process and then embedding these back into a LyX document. Further custom style support would be good and is a requested feature. ShareLateX is a more complete implementation together with file manager and template/image support. It allows for real-time collaborative editing. It uses TeX files, so one means of interacting is to export TeX from LyX and then edit online before re-importing. ShareLaTeX is partially open source, see https://github.com/sharelatex/sharelatex These software help address some of the issues of editing docs collaboratively but arguably involve more file transfers than using a version management backend. Where they may be useful however is in getting users who are unfamiliar with LaTeX or unwilling/unable to install a LyX to edit files in a format that can still be merged back relatively easily.