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Re: obby

From: Phil Hagelberg
Subject: Re: obby
Date: Mon, 11 May 2009 09:25:38 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.92 (gnu/linux)

Jeff Kowalczyk <address@hidden> writes:

> On Sun, 10 May 2009 15:53:21 -0400, Richard M Stallman wrote:
>> Gobby is a collaborative editing system which
>> uses a library called obby.  (See gobby.0x539.de/ .)
>> Is it feasible to make this work in Emacs?
> Phil Hagelberg previously released an Emacs implementation compatible with
> obby-0.3:

My implementation has since moved:


There are two major problems with my implementation. First, it's only
compatible with a version of the obby protocol that is over three years
out of date. Secondly, my knowledge of the protocol came from
packet-sniffing since the protocol was undocumented at the time and I
don't know C, so it doesn't do any inclusion transformation. This is
necessary to support handling conflicts when two people edit the same
portion of the document at the same time. This means that each client
connected will eventually converge from having the same text for any
given session unless they are on a near-zero-latency network.

I had planned to revisit the problem once the new implementation of the
obby protocol and client (now called Infinote) had been released. But
implementing inclusion transformation is very difficult.

By the way, this is a textbook case for why we would want to support
dynamic linking. The reference implementation of the Infinote protocol,
libinfinote, is released under the LGPL, so it would save a great deal
of effort to be able to use that rather than creating a new,
independent, under-manned implementation from scratch. It's especially
hard to get motivated to sink that much effort into an alternate
implementation when you know it would be much easier and more robust to
link to an existing Free one.


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