NextCloud collaborative editing

Since the start of meet.coop we’re using the NextCloud instance provided by Webarchitects. @chris set it up with the OnlyOffice collaborative editor. In other NextCloud instances (at CommonsCloud and others) we have CollaboraOffice integrated as editor, and for a time we have also used LibreOffice specifically compiled for online usage (LOOL). IIRC @chris made the step to use OnlyOffice last spring as CollaboraOfice had started to apply some restrictions in the max number of documents to be edited in parallel. Fortunately that restriction is withdrawn in a recent version.

After this brief introduction let me explain the main issue that we’re suffering with the current setup. Concurrent editing of the OnlyOffice spreadsheets isn’t working properly, it is so bad that for team meetings we have used life documents at other servers, edit concurrently during the meeting and then copy over the result back to our NextCloud server.

Given the more positive experience in this aspect with CollaboraOfice, at least at CommonsCloud.coop, I’m wondering whether we shouldn’t add Collabora to our instance or whether there’s other more effective solutions. @chris?

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Thanks for the feedback and sorry to hear about the problems with OnlyOffice, I’ll get a CollaboraOffice server setup and switch the site over to use that, it might be a week before this is up and running as I want to write some Ansible to follow these tasks in order to provision it.

how is your view on the UX for collaborative editing with OnlyOffice? We have seen that Cryptpad has been able to improve OnlyOffice in such way that it does work better.

It would be great if you can add in CollaboraOffice, thanks @chris

I don’t personally use either OnlyOffice or CollaboraOffice, from a hosting point of view doing more on the client side, as OnlyOffice does, should in theory make for a better user experience and lower server requirements, but it sounds like this isn’t actually the case…

I haven’t come across Cryptpad before.

Hmm can we not jump to switching over to CollaboraOffice? I had very poor experience, even single person edit wasn’t working well for me, and would much prefer the current OnlyOffice setup. I am also concerned about formatting in our spreadsheets will not render the same in CollaboraOffice. Let’s not rush to change things up, our collaborative use case is very very minimal.

Cryptpad did not “improve” OnlyOffice. They took the UI and swapped the entire backend. It is not even remotely OnlyOffice.

Oohh… I thought you were the first to signal the collaborative editing issues with OnlyOffice, but now I learn that you are otherwise happy with OO.

I agree that we shouldn’t jump too fast :slight_smile:

And what issues did you have with CollaboraOffice, in what instance? Of course the editors are very different, CO implementing parts of LibreOffice and using it in the backend, using ODF as core format. While OnlyOffice may be generally more mature, and using Microsoft formats as core formats. There is also the client side processing in the case of OO, in theory preferrable as Chris mentions.

But for collaborative editing, which is the key usecase of these editors (otherwise you can just edit on your local office application), concurrent editing should work at least with small groups. And the current setup doesn’t allow for that. So please suggest what would be your preferred way forward.

It’ll take me a little time before I have all the Ansible sorted out to enable Nextcloud instances hosted by Webarchitects to be simply switched between using either a shared CollaboraOffice or ONLYOFFICE server for WYSIWYG browser editing of documents, this is something I have wanted to have in place for a while, but I do have some other pieces of work I’d like to sort out first (currently I’m re-writing all the Ansible we have for managing Matomo), so from my point of view not rushing into a decision on this is fine.