Developer Notes: Wiki Pages Lock While Editing

Posted on February 3, 2014


Real-time, collaborative document editing can be a great thing. While the website wiki system was designed for collaborative editing through the revision feature, it was never really designed for real-time collaboration. In other words, it was never intended to support 2 or more users editing the same wiki page at the same time.

However, with the rise in users participating in groups over the past few weeks, we've noticed that it was possible for wiki page edits to get lost because multiple users were updating the same page at the same time. The solution we opted for was to lock the wiki pages when they are being edited so that only one user can edit at a time. Here's how it works...

When someone edits a wiki page, other users in the group will see the message in the blue box below.  Also, the Edit button will be greyed out and inactive so that another user cannot get to the wiki edit page. The wiki page will remain locked until the editing user clicks the blue SAVE button at the bottom of the screen.

What happens if someone forgets they are editing a wiki page?  Will it stay locked forever?

We understand that users can forget to close out of a program. We get distracted, called away to a meeting, or experience problems with our computers and browsers. We want to ensure that wiki pages do not remain locked indefinitely.  If an editing user stops typing for 30 minutes, their wiki page will automatically save, unlock and revert back to the read-only view of the wiki page.  When this happens, the user will see the following message:

Additionally, in the event of an editors computer or browser crashing, we have implemented a background process that goes through and unlocks wiki pages that are no longer actively being edited.

Wikis are community spaces.  Bear this in mind as you are editing your wiki pages. Treat a wiki page as you would a Word document - save often, especially if you are going to be away from your computer for awhile. Know that other users may wish to edit the same wiki page that you are working on. Try to be intentional with your edits and reasonably quick to save and unlock any pages that you are editing so that other users can make their edits as well.

Comments (5)

This is most helpful. Thanks!

Mike Fagbemi

Posted Feb 6, 2014 by Mike Fagbemi


Nancy Steele

Posted Feb 3, 2014 by Nancy Steele

I am Wiki happy with the modifications!

Steven Davies

Posted Feb 3, 2014 by Steven Davies

Thansk all!

John Killoran

Posted Feb 3, 2014 by John Killoran

Good to know - thanks.

Barbara Purvis

Posted Feb 3, 2014 by Barbara Purvis

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