A Blast from the Past
I was feeling a little nostalgic today, and looked through old blog archives I had. I found this curious entry from 2006:
Collaboration – September 7th, 2006
A couple of friends and I are working on a small project in our space time, and it’s been a lot of fun so far. One of the first things I did was set up a Writely document and added the other three guys as collaborators.
Writely, in case you haven’t heard of it, is an online word processor that was purchased by Google. It’s not as fully featured as something like Microsoft Word, but it’s got more than enough of the basics to be useful for writing documents on the Internet.
The best part is that anyone can edit the file at any time, make their changes, and they’re logged so they can be reviewed, integrated, etc. Multiple people can actually edit the document at the same time (which we’ve done) and as one person changes things the other person sees those changes after a short delay. It’s very cool.
The other tool we’re using to collaborate is CVS, the popular open source version control system for writing programming code. I use it at work and am a huge fan of the way it works. Like Writely, multiple people can write code in the same base at the same time and it can merge most of the changes.
These kinds of tools are so useful for working on things in groups. I can’t believe that I used to send word docs back and forth in emails, have people change them and forward them on.
Any guesses as to what that small project turned out to be?
One interesting thing to me is the date. It’s proof that we’ve been working on Forumwarz for over 3 years now. I’m not sure how long before that work actually began, but early August 2006 is a good guess.
Another interesting thing is that back then I was praising Writely, which is now just known as Google Docs. We still use it heavily, especially for Episode 3′s development.
I’m NOT using CVS any more. Soon after I wrote that article I switched to Subversion. About a year and a half later I switched to Git, and am much happier with it. Live and learn!