[OS X TeX] Collaborating on LaTeX documents

Joseph C. Slater PE, PhD joseph.slater at wright.edu
Sat Mar 21 13:43:22 CET 2009

On Mar 20, 2009, at 7:04 PM, David B. Thompson, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE,  
CFM wrote:

> I'd like to poll the collective on how we work out the details of  
> collaborating on writing projects shared among a variety of authors.
> My research team used Word for awhile, but after fighting with the  
> differences in formatting that invariably result, and fighting with  
> frontmatter and backmatter, we eventually gave up and resorted to  
> using LaTeX. Three of the team members are LaTeX literate, if not  
> experts. The fourth and the odd pick-up researcher that joins the  
> core team occasionally we just carry by cut-and-paste or whatever is  
> necessary.
> I've been tempted to set up a subversion repository to hold our  
> draft reports, with the authors able to check-out and check-in edits  
> and upload graphics for including in the documents. I haven't done  
> this yet, in part because I lack an appropriate place to host the  
> repository, and in part because I'm still a bit intimidated by  
> subversion. (Problem is surmountable with a little time and effort.)
> What are y'all doing when working as a team? Are you just passing  
> the source about? Is one person operating as a manual repository?  
> Are there tools out there I'm not aware of?
> Thanks for all the interesting content. I'm looking forward to the  
> interaction. Have a happy weekend!

I used to use cvs with 4 authors, switched to svn because supposedly  
it's better. Here I'm just trusting smarter people than me. We even  
got the Word guy to use LaTeX when he saw how much better it would  
work in collaboration. You really don't need much horsepower at all  
for your server of one project. I'm using a 400 MHz G4 that was my  
desktop machine back in... I don't remember when. Pick up any old mac  
cheap on ebay and put in a large enough hard drive if it needs it  
(probably doesn't).

One advantage of SVN/CVS (which we haven't needed yet), is every  
checkout is a backup of sorts so if the repository fails for a small  
group, you aren't losing your data (granted, the history of the  
repository). You can always time machine the repository too!

Note that the Apple developer tools come with the very handy FileMerge  
application that can be used to resolve conflicts (when you've edited  
the same section).


More information about the macostex-archives mailing list