• multi-platform collaborative multi-user text editor
  • formerly known as Multi-Editoro
  • see many cursors changing text in realtime!
  • moonedit.com - official site

MoonEdit history

    In July 2001, I was chatting with my friend, Ken Silverman on AOL Instant Messenger. It seemed like our messages weren't being sent as quickly and reliably as we would have liked. At times, we were receiving 4 messages in a row. Obviously, something was delaying our messages and we found it really irritating. As programmers, we naturally started talking about writing our own client. We came up with both simple and complex ideas. One of the more complex ones was a fully collaborative environment - basically a multi-player text editor where multiple text cursors would be visible in the same window. Ken said: "I always wanted to make a 2 player text editor - you would see 2 cursors!" and we were both excited. As usual, we were both busy with other projects at the time. So we just stored the idea away for another day. As a quick AOL IM replacement I did simple two player chat with built-in UDP-based file transfer protocol and ICQ-like split screen real-time mode, so you had ability to watch other user keystrokes. Finally, in December 2002/January 2003, I decided to implement truly multiplayer text editor. I got the first working prototype in less than two days. After a while, I wrote a standalone server for Linux and showed it to a group at my university (It helped me pass some very basic network programming course :). Then for many months, I was using it only to chat with Ken. We were rigoursly testing it using not very good Ken (USA) <-> Tom (Poland) internet connection. Almost a year later (late 2003/early 2004), I showed "ME" to some guys at my interest group, Sphere, and they were really excited. So I decided to release "ME" to the public on my website. Just before releasing it (then called Multi-Editoro), I did some web surfing and found a few similar projects. The first one I found was SubEthaEdit, a similar program written only for the Macintosh. I don't have a Mac, but from the screenshots, I could tell that the editor was very mature. Worst of all, it was released in mid-2003 - when I already had Multi-Editoro fully working. I was devastated - mostly because I thought people would see "ME" as just another SubEthaEdit clone : / Before MoonEdit, there were many scientific prototypes of such editors (featuring realtime collaboration, with and without text locks, etc..). One of the more interesting ones is MUSE but it wasn't provided as a standalone application, so I never bothered to try it out. I don't know how similar it actually is. I can only say that networking architecture is the same (since both are client-server). It looks like Sachin Mullick's (with Dr Raphael Finkel advisory) method required locking parts of the text. Still, they did it in 1998. Other efforts are listed here (note: Multi-Editoro is the original name for MoonEdit).

Copyright 1999-2005 by Tom Dobrowolski. All Rights Reserved.