Zomg EtherPad

So my friend Corey told me about how Google recently bought a company called AppJet who makes this sweet online shared notepad called EtherPad. Google went ahead and released EtherPad under an Apache 2.0 license. Sweet; thanks Google!
I could see Gobby hooking into EtherPad – could you?
Enjoy some screenshots – and I apologize for being so short with this post; I am a busy bee today finishing things up before I leave for the holidays tomorrow.

Main Document Window

Document Versions Timeline

You can play forward through versions…. so sweet…. I so wish MediaWiki had this!

Import/Export Options

Would be super sweet if you could import a MediaWiki page then export it back out from where you got it. Or at least export in MediaWiki format.

Document Revision History

What do you think? Could this app be useful for Fedora?


  1. I've got the server working on Fedora. It's written in Java/Scala/JavaScript, and the version of javac in OpenJDK-devel in Fedora didn't seem to be able to compile it — got syntax errors on some of the JS code. Sun's javac worked okay.
    There was also a fastjar bug preventing the build from working, which I mailed out a fix for:
    So, if someone can fix openjdk, I think it could be packaged, in as much as it makes sense to package webapps in Fedora.
    – Chris.

  2. cswiii says:

    Yep, fastjar was the stumbling block that monopolised most of my time trying to get the build to work.
    I hacked "rebuildjar.sh" to assure it always used 'jar' instead of 'fastjar' and I was cookin' with gas. Also had to use Sun's java.

  3. I think we need to host a Gobby server. If someone is interested in helping, I'm interested in how the GNOME Foundation can help.

    1. A gobby server is already running for Fedorians: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Gobby

  4. @Stormy: I hate to say it, being an occasional GNOME developer myself, but I think etherpad obsoletes gobby completely. Why would anyone prefer a single-platform desktop client to something that runs on the web, all else being equal? (And I think all else is pretty equal, since etherpad is open-source, and gobby requires a server as well.)
    – Chris.

    1. Couldn't they work together? There are times when I much rather prefer a desktop app to a webbrowser app. If they could both interface with the same documents it would be cool no?

      1. Oh, that would be neat. Gobby's split into a UI piece and a library (libinfinity), so I guess the task would be to write a version of libinfinity that implements etherpad's net protocol and conflict-resolution algorithms instead of gobby's.
        An example of a new feature that you'd get from doing this would be syntax highlighting, which etherpad doesn't have yet but is probably not far away now that the source code's out there.

    2. As the maintainer of Gobby my view on this is obviously biased. Let me get one thing straight though: Gobby is not a single-platform client. It runs on Windows, Linux and OS X. This was one of our major design goals.
      My opinion on interaction between Etherpad and Gobby:
      Of course it is possible to write another "version of libinfinity" which implements the Etherpad protocol. The design of the library might however not fit the EtherPad paradigm very well; I think code in Gobby would also have to be changed for this to work properly. I think there are two reasons the way vice versa (implementing libinfinity's concurrency control in Etherpad) might be more viable, though:
      1. Even though EtherPad has been open sourced there is few documentation available for how it's conflict resolution works (correct me if I'm wrong; I have only poked a bit through the sources).
      2. libinfinity's concurrency control has already been implemented in JavaScript (http://www.jinfinote.com). Using EtherPad's text editing functionality all that's missing is probably code to talk to a Gobby server.

  5. Etherpad is the greatest Web 2.0 app out there. I have used it several times. I would really like to see it in the Fedora repos!

  6. If people can decide between Gobby and Etherpad Etherpad dominates Gobby in every respect.
    You want someone to work with you? Just send a link. No need to further develop a seperate app, keep it secure, explain people how to connet and use it etc.
    I have never bothered to tell people to use Gobby, but I would not hesitate to send invitations to a pad.
    Fedora and/or Gnome need a Etherpad server or just use http://piratepad.net/

  7. Mozilla has a similar app called Bespin (https://bespin.mozilla.com/)

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