Automatic merging

We’ve just made a great improvement to Wikispaces for when people try to edit the same page at the same time. In short, we now “merge” everyone’s changes so that people don’t have to worry about overwriting each other’s work.

Let me explain how this works. Imagine we have a page that looks like this:

Apples are tasty
Oranges are sweet
Pears are tangy

Dom and James both come to the page and click “Edit This Page”. So the two of them are editing the page at the same time.

Dom changes the word “tasty” to “yummo” and saves the page
James changes the word “tangy” to “delicious” and saves the page.

Now the cool part. Wikispaces recognizes that the two changes do not conflict, and so it automatically merges them into this new version which contains both changes

Apples are yummo
Oranges are sweet
Pears are delicious

And we do it quietly, without bothering either Dom or James. Much better. Enjoy.

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5 Comments

  1. mrclay
    Posted June 20, 2007 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    How about if the changes they make conflict with one another.. ? Eg one changes apples to grapes and another changes apples to watermelon..? What will happen then..?

  2. Posted June 20, 2007 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    That is fantastic. This was one issue that I was only thinking about this morning because we are using wikis extensively in our classes and we do have the problem of kids over writing each other’s work. So much so that we stopped having students work in their class wiki and we only asked students to edit their own wikis. (their wikifolios) Now this won’t be a problem and we will be able to have a whole class working on the one page. You are champions.
    regards , Anne

  3. Posted June 21, 2007 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    When the changes conflict with each other, we fall back to the previous behavior, which is to notify the user of the conflict, and allow them to overwrite the conflicting change, or continue editing the document.

  4. Posted November 9, 2007 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    We experimented with this merging–we created a page that had multiple sections and had individual students work on different sections at the same time. Unfortunately, it did not merge–the version of the last kid who saved was the final version and the text from the other students was deleted. Did we do something wrong. We are in the middle of this project and we would appreciate any help asap.
    Thanks, Iris

  5. Posted November 12, 2007 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Iris,

    Are your students sharing the same user account? Or are they editing the page as guests? Automatic merging will only work if all the students have unique accounts.

    Best,
    Sarah

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