Lopad: high speed collaborative text editing over low bandwidths
Note: lopad is still a work in progress. The #crisiscampLDN team have made good progress, there will be a first cut up in the next few days. Getting it to the optimised, low bandwidth tool it needs to be is a project for the next few weeks.
I'm in "the ball room" (the other one's called "the tree room" in case you're wondering where the heck we are) at #crisiscampLDN and I'm thoroughly impressed by the efforts of @nickstreet and @mrchrisadams from Headshift.
What are they doing? Something really cool - making the first release of lopad. Check out the intro on blip.tv from @leashless above.
What is lopad?
Aptivate makes a service called loband - it takes high-bandwidth webpages and makes them work quickly on slow connections.
This is the first addition to the lo* (pronounced lo-star) family of products: lopad.
Think of it as a super-lightweight Google Docs with no registration, instant visibilty of other user's changes and fast performane on all internet connections.
There's already a product called Etherpad which has been open-sourced since Google bought the company (to absorb the team into Google Wave). They plan to discontinue the public service in a few months time. In response to this, there are already some other public instances of Etherpad (e.g. PiratePad) as well as many private ones, but the immediate goal of the lopad project is to:
- Create lopad.org - a free public instance of etherpad, promoted for use in the relief and development sectors but open to anyone
- Optimise lopad.org to perform well on low bandwidth and/or high latency connections
In true meta-style, there's more info and developer notes online at: http://etherpad.com/crisiscampLDN
Some highlights from the above:
- Nick forked etherpad to make lopad on github
- Pingdom tools is a good way to see how bandwidth is being used.
- How to (potentially) rebrand etherpad to lopad.
- How to set up an Etherpad server on CentOS minimal (where we'll be hosting it)
- Simulating low bandwidths, how to make sure your apps work in the field.
So: friends, coders, countrymen, come and join in!