Version Control for Asynchronous Group Work

Alan Dix and Victoria Miles

At time of publication: University of York, UK.

Download full paper - compressed postscript (108K) or Adobe PDF (127K).

Full reference:

A. J. Dix and V. C. Miles (1992).
Version control for asynchronous group work.
YCS 181, Department of Computer Science, University of York, (Poster presentation HCI'92: People and Computers VII).

URL for related work:


Controlling the development of different versions of a document can be a complex task, even for a single author to handle. This task is likely to become more complex as the number of authors increases, and more complex still if those authors are distributed geographically with only limited means of communication, such as electronic mail, to connect them. If this last situation makes version control difficult to manage it also makes it very necessary.

This paper looks at the issue of version control comparing single and multiple user situations. The aim is to focus on requirements for version control that will assist asynchronous distributed group writing. The paper concludes with an informal description of MSC, a multiple-source control system which seeks to ful ll these requirements.

Keywords: Cooperative work, version control, collaborative writing, computer mediated communication, shared editors, electronic mail.

Alan Dix 15/4/2000