Opinions/Guidance on LaTeX collaboration (methods & tools)

Urs Liska lists at openlilylib.org
Thu Jul 2 06:18:08 CEST 2020

I have successfully got my parents to make edits in the web interface of a git repository.

While this doesn't give the MS Word "user experience" at all I find this perfect  for collaboration. The diff in a pull request is a very good tool for "tracking changes" IMO.

I would fight as hard as possible to avoid exchanging files by email or cloud services/shared drives.



Am 2. Juli 2020 01:39:48 MESZ schrieb "Beuthe, Thomas" <thomas.beuthe at cnl.ca>:
>There are several possible methods that can be used to collaborate with
>other authors using LaTeX.
>I've tried to list all of the methods (and tools) I am aware of below.
>Please let me know if you use a method or a tool that is not listed.
>Currently I am trying to answer the following question:
>Is it possible to involve non-LaTeX users easily into a collaboration
>with experienced LaTeX users?
>Here is the situation: I am trying to deal with non-homogeneous groups
>of users.
>Some of them are very experienced LaTeX users and are typically the
>ones who produce the documents. Then there's the other group who have
>to be involved in the document review process, but have virtually no
>experience with LaTeX. Up to now the document producers have handed
>their documents for review to the reviewers as pdf files, and the
>reviewers have used various pdf readers (Adobe and Foxit typically) to
>mark up the documents for review. Unfortunately some reviewers object
>to this method since they are more accustomed to doing their reviews in
>MS Word documents using the "Track Changes" function, along with the
>"Comment" function. The comment function in MS Word is very similar to
>the "Note" or "Comment" function in pdf files so at least that angle is
>covered. But there is no exactly equivalent functionality to the Word
>"Track Changes". Of course the latexdiff package can produce LaTeX
>documents that look the same way a Word document would look if you use
>Track Changes, but this functionality is not available for the
>uninitiated reviewers. What the non-LaTeX reviewers would like to have
>is a simple tool to type in their suggested revisions and alter the
>LaTeX document directly, the same way they can do it in MS Word, and
>then send the document back to the authors.
>Looking at the collaboration methods listed below, methods 1 (direct
>exchange) and 2 (file archiving and versioning system) will not provide
>the desired functionality. The third method may come a little closer,
>but it currently looks like the only one that can come close to the
>desired features is Overleaf. The others typically allow novice users
>to change the document and re-compile, but the track changes function
>is not there. The software keeps track of the change history, but it's
>more like a log of the changes, and does not appear in the finished
>product like Track Changes does. So from what I can see only Overleaf
>comes close.
>Thoughts? Opinions? Have I missed some brilliant piece of software
>somewhere that might fill these shoes? Please let me know what you
>1) Collaboration through direct exchange of files. Transferring LaTeX
>source files between authors, typically though a common area, or by
>emailing them to each other. For more than two authors, synchronization
>between authors can be problematic.
>2) Collaboration by using a file archiving system accessible to all
>authors. For example, all authors use a git archive. This solves the
>synchronization problem and also handily keeps track of all committed
>3) Use of a collaboration tool. The cloud computing approach. Here all
>authors (remotely) log into a collaboration tool that automatically
>keeps track of everyone's changes, and also compiles the document. The
>ones listed here all provide full functionality through a browser.
>Examples of this type of tool include Overleaf, Authorea, Papeeria, and
>Cocalc. Can anyone think of any others? I would be interested!
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