// There was already a thread with the same name and I tried replying to the comments but it wouldn’t let me — hence, the new thread (with apologies)! //
Is there any news in that regard? I remember asking the same thing in 2020 and I believe the answer was quite similar (that it’s the main thing being worked on, quite complicated, should be ready soon, etc). Don’t get me wrong — it’s obvious good and quality things take time but I thought I’d ask just in case before diving back in to Causality (which I paused until I could use it with my co-writer). :)
It's the main thing we're working on, and 3.0 behind the scenes is actually the major alignment to collaboration. The servers are also mostly complete.
The tradeoff is between making a writing app that works for a single user, versus making it possible to collaborate. There are two competing logics. First, if it's not useful to a single user, then it's also not useful to a team, so we need to make it work for a single user. On the flip side, there are some people where it doesn't become useful at all before it has collaboration, no matter how useful or not it is for a single user.
Basically, 3.0 paid off a lot of the technical debt that was preventing collaboration, and it is now almost the only thing we're working on. A few things will be allowed to get in the middle, likely Word import/export, and Emotion Tracking. Besides easy polish, we pretty much have a feature freeze until we have collaboration.
We're thinking we have it at the end of the year, but we've been wrong before. There's tremendous pressure on collaboration, and it's easily the #1 feature request. We've lost TV shows over this, and it's very painful for us to not have it.
Collaboration is far more difficult for us than it is for other apps, because what we're synchronizing is much more sophisticated. Just syncing text and some settings would be easy. We've had to re-express much of our data in ways that allow for a blind merge. It's the most work, but it means that we safely and in complete real-time merge changes coming in from each user, without any locking and with everyone on the same timeline. There's a reason that no video editor allows people on the same timeline, because it's hard. But we have that.
So the trade-off is between permanently compromised and cumbersome collaboration that we can have sooner, or good collaboration. We're doing good collaboration. We already have this running for the sister app Shot Designer 3D which uses the same sync, and it's so real-time it feels like screen-mirroring. It's everyone on the same timeline, no locking, no conflicts and no babysitting. We're doing it properly, because we have to live with it for decades afterwards. It would be sad to make a compromised collaboration and then live with that for decades.