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Google Docs Offline Access  (View post)

hebbet [PersonRank 10]

Monday, January 28, 2008
12 years ago10,207 views

I can't see it!

Avrohom Eliezer Friedman (AEF) [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Cool! – What is this " not-so-private experimental sites" you're talking about? Or do you want to e-mail me about it? :)

hebbet [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Explain how you done it!

Jarred [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I'm a little worried that the dialogue you got only says you can "view" your documents offline rather than view AND edit them. Think I'm reading too much into it?

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

You won't get this option at docs.google.com (yet) and that's all I'm going to say for now... ;-)

/pd [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

this is a good sign.. but what happens when you have many users who work offline on a document – how does this sync back to the central repository for that document ? Whose edit will take precedence ? all this fun questions are critical for the community to know..

Collaboration becomes tricky when has one has to contend with the case of multiple offline users and "most recent edit" status. Now -grove that along timezones .. and more fun emerges!!

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

/pd – I guess theoretically it could work the same as it does now with sharing, except the changes will need to be stored as versions locally so that it can perhaps try to merge them chronologically once it connects again.

Who knows though! Does anyone know how Zoho deals with this?

/pd [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

If I am not mistaken – Zoho & other that I have seen are based on the FIFO method..

David Mulder [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I didn't read it right and I got all excited about it, as I have been waiting for this feature already for ages... I hope they will realease a special prism version one day. (Should be standard in Firefox 4)...

pankaj mehra [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

The question about collaboration is key. One of the benefits of using GDocs online is that one can work on them from different computers. My middle-schooler child uses it this way (using Macs at school and a Vista laptop at home without problems). It does not therefore require two different collaborators – but rather even two locations of use for the same user – for the offline re-sync case to arise.

Instead of FIFO merging, my preference would be automatic branching of versions coupled with explicit merge actions (perhaps allowed online only).

/pd [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Hey Pankaj, but explicit merge methods (allowed online only), still challenges the system to have a method that can rationalize the version controlling when merging.

For e.g. I have a document that I need to complete by (e.g) monday. So I lease to the team (3 members A,B,C) for edits. I also tell them that during the weekend there is going to be an outage with the servers, so down load and work edits offline. Come monday morning , the team is in the office and once online auto re-sync is initaited.
Should the system resync be based on ?
1) The order that I sent out my request to view/edit the document (A,B,C) in the order ?
2) the order that the Teams connects to the network (B,A,C) ?
3) The offline version history based on time for each document ?
4) or glup the document one after the either (in no particular order) with the option for owner for an explicit merge ?

Having worked with workflows and collaborative technologies , it becomes critical that minimum work is sustainable for endusers

all 4 methods I outline above is costly for the owner in terms of actual creation of final deliverable. The current systems are generally designed w/version control much like source code s/w. However, the problem with doing that is that there are no roll back methods for a document.

Ahab [PersonRank 5]

12 years ago #

[put at-character here]/pd, pankaj mehra

You may want to read my post about this subject in the Remote Writer forum: groups.google.com/group/remote ...

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Great discovery, Tony . . . Though it's a shame they're not further ahead with it (as it seems). For my part, as soon as this is up and working I'll be using Google Docs almost exclusively for word-processing; I work without an internet connection quite often, and offline access is all I'm waiting for (I don't need fancy formating).

Mahir [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

awesome...It is good to hear it supports offline..

Voyagerfan5761 [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

I wonder if they could take ideas from the diff engine of the (open-source) MediaWiki program, which has the capability to merge changes using GNU diff3...

Tommy [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Maybe Google should also work on how badly their document and spreadsheet applications SUCK.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Tony, I would like to know if Google has changed its "not so private server" since you have revealed this story. Do you get any reaction?

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Good question. It seemed to go offline a couple of days after making this post. I didn't realise straight away though, as I could still see my document list because I'd enabled offline access... ;-)

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

[In Internet years] many moons ago, yet in a Galaxy not too far away, Tony Ruscoe wrote:

# [...] Google Gears, but the only official Google integration
# is for Google Reader [...]"

Does Google Reader allow offline access (off all/ all unread?) once Firefox 1.5/ IE 6.x equipped with GGears?

I've read the googlegears blog – nowhere does it mention that. Did I miss it (again) rhetorical question no answers!!!!

Emma [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I'd tried Gears a while ago, and had sort of forgotten about it. From memory, on the Zoho site, you couldn't do much off line, but I may have forgotten.

I guess for single author documents, it could be very useful – but I can see that multiple author docs would be more difficult; unless you have a fairly simple sign in/ sign out system.

That said, it can be rather confusing having several people authoring the same document live anyway!

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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