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New algorithms for collaborative text editing

A talk at Strange Loop, St. Louis, MO, USA, 22 Sep 2023


Real-time collaboration made apps like Google Docs and Figma popular, and many other apps have also been adding similar features. However, the algorithms that enable collaboration are surprisingly tricky, even for seemingly simple data types like text. In this talk I will share insights from our recent research on collaborative text editing, answering questions such as: How can we combine ideas from version control, such as branches and pull requests, with real-time sharing? And how can we move from cloud-centric apps to a more decentralised, local-first model of software without sacrificing features or performance?