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Arguably, the most user-friendly way for multiple users to edit the same content is what google wave / google docs represents: Users see each-others' work in real-time.

What could next most known way on the user-friendliness scale, more offline way? There are some variants like locking, warnings of concurrent editing, showing both variants so the editor can manually merge, just plain overwrite the older... But is there something more friendly, in a way that at least (a) edits of the users will not be lost (b) live connection to the "master copy" is not required at all times?

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Something like the way Git does it seems right. The user checks out a file, edits it, then checks it back in, performing a merge. The user has to perform the merge manually, and all versions are saved in the event someone makes a mistake.

I personally would stay away from locking whenever anyone is editing. Everyone has to stop working while someone is editing it, and that user could accidentally leave it locked.

Its a little involved, but the merge tool could do something like giphy showing WebStorm merge ability

Note Webstorm has three panels for a merge, not two, but hopefully you get the idea of how it would work. You click on blocks of text on their side, and then save the resulting file.

  • That "performing a merge" worries a bit. Maybe, it's easy for developers to understand, but what about less advanced users? Do you have something like jsdiff johnresig.com/projects/javascript-diff-algorithm in mind? – Roman Susi Sep 25 '18 at 18:48
  • I would suggest something like the way WebStorm or one of the other IDEA merge tools work. Something like the gif I show in my edited comment. – Billy Hunt Sep 26 '18 at 19:41
  • This is good for software developers (even for them I think IDEA tools can make a better job on merge given programming language semantics), but less experienced users will just Cancel editing or think twice before contributing in fear of merge. If there were some "magic wand" for natural languages... But we speak about practicalities here. – Roman Susi Sep 27 '18 at 3:48

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