‘PeerPad’ is collaborative editing tool without servers – #Startups

With PeerPad you can edit in real time on the decentralized Web. It doesn’t need a central service or 2nd or 3rd parties, with each participating node talking directly to each other. All communication is encrypted, & several authors can participate in the creation of a document, synchronously or asynchronously.

PeerPad is made for collaborating with colleagues. You can take meeting notes, edit snippets of code, markdown documents or edit rich text docs. It’s also useful for saving snapshots & have them published to the Internet.

Other interesting uses are for writing articles & sharing them online. You’d go about this by publishing a snapshot of a pad to IPFS, then making it available to people who you wish to share it with with a read key that decrypts the content. This lets you work with as many users as you want at the same time, with each of you changing the document at the same time. Each user will see all the others’ changes in real time.

The way it works is by using IPFS, a P2P hypermedia protocol & Y.js, which is a JavaScript framework for offline-first P2P shared editing. It employs a Conflict-free Replicated Data Type (CRDT), which offers ‘strong eventual consistency’. This ensures that conflicts are merged automatically & produce values that are guaranteed to be correct/consistent.

Getting a bit more technical, as referenced in the project Site, “Two objects can be either equal, have hierarchy (one descends the other) or are pairs; the latter signifies a branch/divergence/conflict. From the intrinsic state of the two pairs, we can determine a new descendant object which is the result of the merge.”

PeerPad is a collaborative effort by London, UK & Portuguese developers. The code is Open Sourced under an MIT license & is available on GitHub. There’s a disclaimer on the Site saying  –  the codebase is in Alpha & hasn’t received a thorough security audit yet, so use it at your own risk. You’ll have to build from source & self-host to get started.


– This is a startup profile based on publicly available material & not a review –  
Image Credit: PeerPad

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