Collaborative Highlighting for Real-Time Group Editors
Highlighting text is a common feature in most single-user editors. It provides users with a mechanism of communication and collaboration between the author and readers by emphasizing some important text. This feature is also necessary and even more valuable for multi-user group editors in the Internet environment. However, it is non-trivial to extend this feature from single-user editors to multi-user group editors because of the following challenges: 1) the need to differentiate highlights by different users, 2) the need to tackle inconsistency problems caused by concurrent operations and nondeterministic communication latency in the Internet environment, and 3) the need to provide a flexible undo facility with the capability of undoing any highlighting operation at any time. We will systematically address these issues and offer our solutions accordingly in this paper. These solutions have been implemented in the REDUCE (REal-time Distributed Unconstrained Collaborative Editing) system.
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