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Enabling Truly Collaborative Writing on a Computer

Report ID:
February 2006
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This study explores a new model for computer-based collaborative writing. A prototype application was built to implement this model, and user tests were performed on the application. The new model demands that each user have control of both the inflow of data from others and the outflow of data to others, and that the computer system handle the memory load required to track unmerged changes. The prototype achieves this goal by displaying to the user a persistent peer-to-peer multiversion set for each phrase in the document in which there is a conflict between contributors. This study presents the new model, describes the insights gained by building the prototype application, and presents the results of the user tests.

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