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Multiple instances, multiple users

I notice you can launch and run multiple instances of CityDesk. Whether this is a bug or a feature is probably a matter of opinion. Since the data storage mechanism can handle multiple users, allowing multiple instances allows you to simulate multiuser access.

Accessing the same site from multiple users brings up a potential problem. There is no locking or notification at either the site or article level. If User A and User B start editing the same article at the same time, whoever saves it last will overwrite the other.

It seems like it would be a good safety net if the program alerted the user that another user had that particular article open. For example, I believe the MS Word and Excel will offer to open a document as read-only if they detect it's open elsewhere. Even an alert that stated "that document is being edited by so-and-so" would be helpful.

Brian Cantoni
Friday, November 16, 2001

Yep, this version was designed so that small teams on a LAN or VPN can work on the same site simultaneously. Our target collaborative scenario is a large college newspaper.

What you're describing is a genuine problem. But my experience has shown that it's usually a rare one in practice; many collaborative groups have clear understandings about who edits which article when.

In the future one of the things we'd like to do with CityDesk is make it increasingly useful for larger teams. This gets into the whole topic of workflow which is interesting but definitely beyond the scope of a simple desktop product like CityDesk.

Joel Spolsky
Saturday, November 17, 2001

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