OK, this is a bit Luddite but I am unimpressed by the news that Adobe are entering the online document processing market, according to the BBC. They’ve bought the online word processor Buzzword, that lets several people edit a document online. It sounds like a good idea, in principle, but…
Have you ever tried collaborating on a document online? It’s usually a fiasco. At least, it is on Messenger, You change something. The other person changes something else. It saves over your changes. Or the program won’t either of you save because it’s trying to synchronise two documents. And failing to get either working.
One of you is bound to have a stylesheet that defaults to comic sans 18 point every time you press the return key. One of you is guaranteed to take Word’s offer of last Tuesday’s recovered version of the document, by accident, because it sounds more convincingly like the document you should be working on than the actual thing in front of you.
The problem isn’t the tech. It’s that two separate things are two separate things. They get out of synch. If you are both working on separate chapters and can merge the complete document that’s a different matter. But, in that case, why not keep two documents until you’ve finished your own bits?