Document/collaboration server advise needed

Frank Leonhardt frank2 at
Thu Jan 25 11:15:24 UTC 2018

On 2018-01-22 20:52, Valeri Galtsev wrote:
> Dear All,
> Three groups of scientists need to write documents collaboratively.
> They are going to use MS PowerPoint, Word, also store PDF files. They
> want to be able to add external people from other groups they
> collaborate with and give them access to some areas or "projects". In
> other words, they want some collaborative work environment, mostly to
> work on documents.
> In the past scientists were using TeX, and one of version control
> systems (CVS, subversion,...). And all was great, as TeX files (pretty
> much like programs software developers write) are ASCII text files,
> and diff of two version is rather small...
> Unlike the past scientists I work for plan to use MS PowerPoint, Word,
> also store PDF files. All these are effectively binary files for
> version control systems, then versions will not be stored as a small
> diff, but each version ends up being the whole document.
> One obvious solution may be: just buy service, or set up
> MS server on our own machine. And these are the two things I am trying
> to avoid.
> Could someone recommend open source software? Some collaborative suite
> focused mostly on working on documents, with web based interface.
> I run owncloud server for my Department, and one in general can use
> that, but I hope to find something more focused towards collaborative
> work.

I can give you a pretty good list of systems to AVOID at all costs 
(mostly based on Microsoft standards). I can't actually think of one 
that wasn't painful to use.

For collaborative documentation I've been impressed by the commercial 
Confluence - a very easy-to-use wiki with add-ons. But nothing to do 
with RCS on external document files.

My current fave-rave for "this sort of thing" is Redmine, the base and a 
few modules for which are available in ports. It's written in Ruby but 
don't hold that against it. It's actually easy to set up and works very 
well. It's got a lot of features you don't need (like critical path 
analysis and ticket workflow) but you can turn on/off features by 
project to declutter. And it integrates with pretty much any VCS.

Redmine doesn't have all the features you desire, but I don't think 
anything does.

Regards, Frank.

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list