Collaborative, secure, open source tools to help run your office

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Needs overview

  • document sharing
  • collaborative editing
  • real time editing/collab
  • ease of document organization
  • storage
  • and document retrieval
  • share arbitrary files
  • file and link sharing ability
  • uploading images
  • tracking changes
  • meta discussion about the file (commenting)
  • good formatting of text
  • BACKUPS (a failing of the hackpad/etherpad/pitratepad variants)
  • Cross Platform!


what is "secure"?

secure against unauthorized access

what is the importance of "trusted infrastructure"?

trusted, meaning transparent auditable accountable
  • what is the difference between private, anon and secure and how does that change what is needed
  • there's a tension between what is needed and what we are trying to define: are we replacing google drive/docs
  • are we talking about anon participation within a defined group
  • are we attempting to get out info quick in a private way
  • some thoughts about platforms that are internally facing or external and what about handling the need for constant context shifting (storage system vs messaging vs realtime editing). In an ideal world there would be a need for fewer tools but was fully featured enough to meet these various needs.
  • also a thought about long term life of data, how to make data vanish after a time
  • messaging and documents, should they be integrated, if so to what extent
  • where does email fit into the mix? has it outlived it's time?
  • Jamila admitted that even though they are an expert in this that they have been emailing ideas to Lisa instead of using any collaborative editing tool


  • attempt at summarizing what we are really talking about
  • word processing
  • messaging
  • project management
  • file storage
  • (calendaring)

What is out there?


like etherpad but is 0 knowledge on the server itself because all data is encrypted and keys live on local browser. must use it from the same browser

built in latvia, recently opensourced. includes a CRM and calendar system (is this too good to be true). many different options from pay for to host yourself. Based in HTML5

(seems like it might be dead but looks like a good idea from their documents)


is working on various tools so that online systems (ownclowd for example) can be edited using a familiar interface [note nextcloud is a fork of owncloud]


has been purchased by Dropbox so its future is hazy



Simplenote (new tool)

document storage system owncloud or nextcloud

NEED to research licenses or the various tools!

  • for spreadsheets
    • EtherSheet and EtherCalc both are usable but not great
  • this will be working on overtime at