Indication about description being updated in real-time when collaborating on the same document

The “description” field of a task doesn’t allow multiple persons to edit it at the same time. It’s not a collaborative-friendly tool. Therefore, what happens when multiple people work on the same task at the same time, they end up overwriting the description (last edit wins)

The “best” way to handle that, is to change the behaviour and make the description field “collaborative-friendly” by detecting conflicts and managing them (there are several ways to do that, but I won’t go into technicals atm)

Another (simpler) way, would be to show an indicator that makes it obvious that someone (and, ideally, whom) is currently editing the document. That would help people avoid overwriting someone else’s description.

Such indicator would be quite useful, and is a simple yet effective way of avoiding such conflicts.

There is indeed nothing in Asana about collaborative work on the same object. That is technically pretty hard to do though.

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It depends how it’s done, it’s not necessarily that hard and would be limited to the “description” field. I implemented such a system when working on a collaborative Authoring tool, where teachers would collaborate on the same document to write their courses. It’s definitely not an easy task, but not necessarily overcomplicated either.

But, the current proposal isn’t to make it collaborative (it would be better IMHO, as Asana is meant to be collaborative in the first place), but simply to let know other people who may be working on the same description that the description is being updated by a teammate, to avoid loss of work.

That uses similar technologies (websockets) but is less complicated because it doesn’t try to detect/resolve conflicts, but rather help to avoid them.

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