@timconsidine I strongly agree.
My only disagreement is on the user case. The user case I do have is precisely the one you have been seen quite rarely "working together at the same time".
If you are right, maybe that's the reason why there are close to zero alternative to that than G suite /MS365, because there very few cases (and I'm in one of these!) where online collaboration at the same time is key. And that goes back to Etherpad that is great for that, but not really powerful and not really keen to the eye for non-techies, not to say they limited capacity for connecting with anything like Nextcloud or similar. Cheers!
@chetbaker If the appetite is there, have you tried getting users to work with Markdown documents in Nextcloud?
Just make any .md file and invite your collaborators & conspirators to hack away. It's also the default format and app when you do
New Text Document:
README.mdfiles in Nextcloud also have the handy effect of becoming that folder's "Rich Text Header" too if you have this button ticked:
I had a long rant about why I feel everyone should learn markdown, and a bunch of decent tools for it here that might yield you some ideas and new personal tools to try, at least:
OK, this is just for text docs, but...
The only every time I've ever collaborated was with spreadsheets, but I did also ping some links on this here before:
And it does seem that Excel and GSheets have a growing amount of healthy competition inovating:
My use case scenario disagrees with that vision.
I'm working with a company that is really committed with digital security and self hosted solutions. They uses a private company for hosting email and calendar (that works just good!),
Just to say, my use case is exactly this above. My organization is among the most digitally-threatened organizations out there, with adversaries that include the largest and most sophisticated state actors out there (think China, Russia, but include those and expand your scope much further than that). We are known to be heavily targeted and surveilled, while also having a mission that ultimately requires us to lean as close as possible to digital sovereignty.
And the reality is that, if you are an organization like this, the very last thing you should be doing is engaging in collaborative editing. The ability for document shares to be open and accessed in the sharing process is simply too great, just as are the chances of leaving open shares for far longer than they should be. The whole live collaboration thing is a security nightmare and the big, consumer companies like Google aren't much good for this because convenience trumps good practice every day.
In terms of what you are saying you are looking for: "The way it works is you just collaborate in a place where you can keep track of changes, you can export in a certain way, it's stored somewhere for offline editing and that is advanced enough for including stuff as footnotes and comments." What I would say about this is three fold:
If you really are concerned about digital security, you would not want to keep a historical record anywhere of who said what, when. Comments and tracked changes are quite dangerous from a personal or business liability perspective.
To this day, there has never been a more robust solution than document comparison software (in-built or otherwise). Running proper blacklines/redlines on documents and edits, while sharing complete documents is significantly more robust.. So if this is all you want, the question should really only be about versioning, group shares, and secure ways of transmission of documents not in group shares.
Live collaboration is really an edge case and is not something that needs anything like a complete editing system with footnotes, etc. Etherpad does the live editing job as well as you could want (albeit with some big caveats regarding security if sharing outside of your own restricted circle).
Collaboration for me is working together on a document at more or less the same time. The number of times I have seen this actually happen in business is minimal.
100% agree. This is exactly what i take collaboration to mean and it is truly a rare thing, not often needed at all.
The thing with the nextcloud implementation is that you can't work in the same markdown doc at the same time with a colleague.
Pretty sure you can
Working together on a document at different times is way more common, so common that it is almost the only scenario to consider in practice. In this scenario, tracked changes is what really matters.
Unless they have made a lot of improvements I haven't seen, on this Google is a distant 2nd to MS Word or any of the alternatives.
In many sectors (eg legal and commercial teams), collaboration is a fringe outlier, tracked changes is what matters.
Fully agree. I work in a legal team, tracked changes and using the exact same document format as the other contractual party is a must. You can’t start telling JP Morgan on the other side to please use markdown or „Sorry, you won’t see all my amendments because I used LibreOffice“. And in these industries, „collaboration“ is exchanging lengthy agreement drafts via email.
start telling JP Morgan on the other side to please use markdown
Would love to see their reaction !
"what down ? I use mouse not arrow keys "
on the other side to please use markdown
Markdown is a nice markup, but as said before not really handy for non technical users. Depending on the document you want to work on Markdown could also be "too simple", but Latex is an even harder pill to swallow for the average user.
And Nextcloud talk is, I think, the very best for one-to-one calls.
Especially if the plan is to work together on a document. I've found this experience to be great too (both co-editing an OnlyOffice doc, or working together on a Nextcloud Text doc).
might be worth taking a look at https://docs.plus
Looks great !
A good candidate for Cloudron ?
(Haven't looked yet at the install and system requirements.)
EDIT : I see there is a Wishlist for this
As per realtime collaboration on docs using Markdown I don't know if anyone had tried but HedgeDoc available here on Cloudron is amazing.
There also exist imho a great altenative to MS/G docs for the documents work with team collaboration it's called Quip and I use to use it a few years back when it started, and before I start to move to more private/secure/nosniff/notrack solutions, and it works pretty well, only in the like of MS/G they're SaaS and not FOSS. On that I'm with @timconsidine and would rather adopt and make all that is possible to get us/people away from big tech dominance as they've become a plea imo, especially in the last two years. So let's get back our tech, our web, our Internet and so let's work on open source as much as we can in all cases we can.
@chetbaker Try Group Office? It also uses Collabora for editing docs:
I used it years ago, before Google Apps was even a thing, and was very happy with it then.
Looks like they have kept pace with modernising the interface and refining.
The Studio is brilliant, and you can make almost any other business app with that and using existing data.
If I didn't already have a happy solution with EspoCRM, I'd say Group Office would be up there as one I'd be happy to use or recommend.