Fidus Writer 3.9 handles complex document merges

The cold season has arrived in Europe, and we have been back behind our home office desks, getting another Fidus Writer version ready for release. Fidus Writer 3.9 is packed with features and fixes. Let’s look at three features that stand out:

Merging offline edits

Letting users go offline and come back online without ever losing their work is a complex task. Over the past few Fidus Writer versions, we have made progress in making this happen. The most difficult case is when some users go offline and continue to edit the same document and then come online again. We are now handling all three possible scenarios for when a user comes back online after having edited the document while offline:

  • If the document has not been changed since the user went offline, any edits made while offline are stored after going back online.
  • If the document has been changed since the user went offline in a non-trivial manner, but the changes were all in a different part of the document, the changes of the user coming back online are marked as tracked changes to let her/him review her/his edits and make sure they still fit with the new document.
  • If the document has been changed since the user went offline in the same places as the user who went offline: When going back online, the user online is presented with a dialog to assist merge her/his edits into the current document. While these sorts of dialogs are well-known to programmers, they tend to be too technical for most users, so we have made a point of making it intuitive even for less technical users.
A message to the user coming back online, notifying her/him about the need to review the document.
The merge dialog has been developed and contributed to Fidus Writer by the team behind Typewiser at AlienTT.

Together these three ways of handling changes mean that no-one should be afraid of continuing their work after going offline for a while – nothing will ever be lost as long as you go back online at a later stage. Golden rule: do not run out of battery while offline!

Styled figure captions

Hitherto, captions of figures always just contained text. Some users wanted more. Some needed mathematical formulas in their captions. Others wanted bold and italic styling. In Fidus Writer 3.9, we treat the caption like a paragraph of text. You can add formulas and any of the kinds of formatting supported by Fidus Writer.

Table captions

We used to think that it would be enough to let people upload SVG-based tables when they needed captions. Our users let us know that they also want captions on regular tables. Starting in Fidus Writer 3.9, we now also allow captions for regular tables.

Try it out

We invite you to try out these features on https://www.fiduswriter.com. If you like it, sign up for a subscription! If you represent an institution and you would like us to set up an instance for your institution, send us an email. Questions or suggestions? Head over to our discussion forum at https://forum.fiduswriter.org.

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