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Feature Proposal: Configurable Edit Anyway Link

Motivation

Add a flag to hide the "edit anyway" link on an edit conflict to avoid broken content.

Description and Documentation

We know of a number of issues with the automatic merge on simultaneous edits:

  • WYSIWYG editor integration
  • Merge of meta data fails

Examples

Impact

Implementation

  • Add a {HideEditAnywayLink} to spec file
  • Conditionally hide the "edit anyway" link with a visibility:hidden style in the oopsleaseconflict.*tmpl template files

-- Contributors: PeterThoeny - 24 Mar 2008

Discussion

This is a small UI/usability fix that should go into 4.2.x.

-- PeterThoeny - 24 Mar 2008

In which cases do we want to show the "Edit anyway" button?

-- ArthurClemens - 24 Mar 2008

Give the TWiki admin a choice if she wants to show the edit anyway button or not for her TWiki site.

Actually, I am wondering if this is better a preferences setting so that it can be hidden on a web and page level?

I did not think of this earlier, and it needs to be considered: If disabled there is no obvious way to break the lock on an abandoned edit, e.g. if a user edits a page to copy source than backs out without canceling the edit session. That is, a user would need to wait for an hour. Any idea how to solve this in an intuitive way?

-- PeterThoeny - 25 Mar 2008

I would hate to block the edit anyway because quite often people that collaborate sit in the same room and can shout to each other and agree that it is OK to edit anyway.

It would be more interesting to be able to disable merging. Ie. change the behavior so that you override the previous changes instead of merging.

But before doing that isn't the real problem that our merge code is a bit rough - especially when it comes to whitespace changed by Wysiwyg editing?

Maybe it is better to repair what is broken than disabling a good feature.

-- KennethLavrsen - 25 Mar 2008

This is one of those things that can be implemented by AddAContextVAR - thus not requireing css added conditionally to a tmpl, just add body class="%CONTEXT%" to all our templates and then some css for your skin.

Essentially, the feature would be implemented using the setting above, which is then added to the contexts in the TWiki::new. fexible huh.

-- SvenDowideit - 25 Mar 2008

Seems to me what would be best is a more flexible mechanism.

First, some sites may want to allow the majority of folks to see the "edit anyway" button, while other sites may want the majority to not see the button.

Admins or other select folks should probably always get the button, or at least have a way to break a lock.

What about a hook into an instant-message gateway that will tell the people involved that other folks want to edit the file?

-- HarlanStenn - 25 Mar 2008

Normal people need to break the lock all the time typically because people have "backed" out of an edit instead of pressing cancel. This is not an admin issue.

If the merge worked well and did not add ins and del tags on lines where only white space has been changed (especially a problem in tables first edited by Raw Edit and then edited by Wysiwyg) then the problem would not need all this hacking.

Adding features to disable features is usually the symptom of a quite different problem. The merge issue does not go away. This is IMHO the wrong approach.

-- KennethLavrsen - 25 Mar 2008

To show a real-world example when this became bothersome, we tried to use the TWiki to coordinate a hundred people around the world. Although everyone edited a different part of the table, it turned out quickly to be a mess, with records being overwritten anyway, and many conflicts. Eventually we had to reorganize the pages.

A better merging mechanism would be really useful. On the other hand, disabling the Edit Anyway function, with perhaps shortening the lock period (so getting an 'absolute lock' for a short time) would be also interesting. And yes, keeping the option for admins is a good idea.

-- PeterSidor - 29 May 2008

Thanks Peter for stopping by. We are aware of the merge limitations. The configurable disable feature is an interim solution.

-- PeterThoeny - 29 May 2008

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Topic revision: r9 - 2008-05-29 - PeterThoeny
 
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