Developing a framework for real-time collaborative document editing

OData support
Dr. Asztalos Márk
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

With the development of technology and software, the paper-based document format is being progressively excluded, partly caused by the diversity of digital content. One may distinguish several digital formats, ranging from text documents, presentations, spreadsheets, through source code to 3D models. For these, it is common to be easy to make copies of, modify or expand their contents arbitrarily.

With the global development and spread of the communication through the Internet, the concept of efficient collaboration has emerged, that aims to make it possible for collaborators to work on a shared document at the same time through the network. There is already multiple web-based software providing this service. The most known is the Google Drive suite that makes same-time collaboration feasible. If the document format is not supported, e.g., it is proprietary or encrypted, an easy-to-integrate and generic framework may be required as the foundation of domain-specific solutions.

Inconsistencies resulting from concurrent editing raises multiple questions, that have been investigated for the last few decades. It is expected that modern concurrent editing solutions will notify users of the result of their changes, even in a distributed and large latency systems. It has to be decided whose responsibility it is to persist changes to the document and when it should happen, and how to synchronize unfinished changes after they are done.

My thesis aims to sum up the research done so far, and choosing a performant inconsistency resolver algorithm for the design and implementation of a new collaboration framework, taking into account that the functionality should be available publicly, and be integrable in a fast and simple manner into a web application.


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