Why does collaboration have to be so difficult?

All I want to do is easily collaborate with my coworkers in creating and updating Articulate content.  I want to be able to say things like "Hey Terry, go into that powerpoint slide and update some quiz questions", or "record some voiceovers and attach them to the Presenter slides".

Reasonable requests, no?

For several years I've been trying to figure out how to accomplish this short of endlessly repeating the work-around that is inevitably posted as a response to this question:  

(1) Create and Articulate 'Package'
(2) Send it using a variety of third party tools that will handle huge files in email
(3) Stop production on your end (this is the real killer) while you await the edit
(4) Have your coworker unzip the "package" and use it to make the edits you need him/her to make
(5) When done, package everything back up
(6) Send it back to the originator using the third party email tool (if it's too big to go through your smtp)
(7) unzip and use the packaged files
(8) Unfreeze your editing process

For years now I've been saying to myself "it can't really be this convoluted... there's got to be something I'm missing." But I read post after post and nobody has an effective, simple solution such as just installing Articulate Presenter and it's application to a network drive or dropbox...

One of the reason's I switched to Articulate was because of the robust user-community.  But as helpful as everyone is, it doesn't seem like anyone's figured out an elegant simple solution to this.  The 8 steps I've outlined above isn't that.  The biggest issue is that it may take my employee 3 weeks to finish their work, and my work on the same project is suspended while that happens.

Is anyone further along in finding a solution to this issue?  I"m going to get an old computer (actually two of them), install dropbox and then install articulate to the dropbox directories and experiment.  But I don't think that's going to work.

Any ideas?

To sum up:

(1) Why is this so complicated?  Is this Microsoft's fault? (Because of these roaming directories?

(2) Does anyone have a simple, elegant fix that doesn't involve emailing or ftp'ing files back and forth each time you want someone to help you.

Thanks everyone,

 

Jim

5 Replies
Phil Mayor

I believe this is because of the way the software was originally interpreted to be used.  I believe and could be wrong here that Studio has been seen as the tool of a lone developer and was created in this way.

I have worked in a team using Studio and it is difficult if not impossible to pick up large projects from someone without having to relink documents, engage and quiz files. We used to swap computers if we needed to work on a file created by someone else.

I am not sure dropbox will work as the links are not relative.

Ashley Terwilliger

I can't speak to the why of the original set up - as it was well before my time. But I think the main concern and reasoning for keeping it specific to one individual working at a time (the same reason we advise to work on local project files and not host them on a network or server) is based on the latency and versioning issues that can occur. I've seen other forums member mention Dropbox as a way to work together on all being able to access a project at the same time, but you'd want to look at creating a method to identify the different versions created as even in Dropbox if more than one person downloads/opens the file - they're changes won't be seamlessly integrated together into one document. 

You'll see the recommended workflow that you mentioned above in our documentation as well, and you may also want to take a look at this article on How to Organize and Manage your E-Learning Course files.

Jim Powell

Thanks Phil and Ashley -- I can understand the permutations and consequences of unfettered collaboration where versioning becomes an issue.

I'm not trying to make a huge multiuser system -- in fact just having two users (me) is all I need.  For example my desktop and my laptop.  Actually I don't have a desktop I only discovered recently on a 19 hour overseas flight that my super-duper laptop draws too much power for the airlines seat-power and leaves me laptopless the entire flight... so I want to work with my small ultrabook when I'm on the road and my big powersucking HP when I'm at home.  But even that is challenging because of these file issue.  Dropbox and google both have ways (and I'm certain many others do) of letting users collaborate on files, it's just very frustrating to have to jump through these hoops.

Jim Powell

Okay, I don't want to download it just maintain mirror copies on both computers via dropbox which can sync up all the directories, what's most critical is making sure the directory tree structure is the same for all supporting directories (like roaming directories), so I think I'm going to have to experiment with two computers running the EXACT same version of windows as win 7 8 and 10 may be different directory structures for temp files.  I don't know.  If I figure anything out I'll report back.