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To provide a mechanism to enable collaboration using JavaScript. On this way, we'll be able to support collaboration on Karma lessons.

Use cases


  • A simple chat (over an html file), where you can see connected children to the activity and talk each other.
  • Let's imagine a lesson: "Learning basic arithmetic", on this lesson we touch the topics: add, rest and multiply a number. At the end of the lesson we got the "Test". Here on "Test" one child writes a basic equation and challenges other child to solve it, then switch turns.

The problem

How to create an easy way to write collaborative JavaScript to be run client-side in browsers.

Keep in mind

  • JavaScript has no model for distributed collaboration.
  • Shared data can be considered volatile.

Possible solutions

It would be ideally as simple as possible and as web-like as possible.

lucian has suggested 2 possible ways[1]:

  • Starting local servers in each Browse and using XMLHttpRequest(XHR) to send data between.
  • Adding an API for this in window.sugar and using the existing Sugar collaboration Python API as a backend.


  • a DNS server and httpd server on each client. (example WikiBrowse )


  • name the people with one wishes to collaborate with using:
    • Telepathy
    • DNS
    • D-Bus to telepathy
  • a way to get those names to the JS.
    • D-Bus to telepathy
    • HTTP to a webserver to D-Bus to telepathy
  • data transfer via:
    • D-Bus + Telepathy
    • a central relay webserver
    • point-to-point HTTP links to peer webservers.

Collaboration data:

Bemasc has suggested to store the messages using files and directories

  • /users could be a list of current users
  • /$USERNAME/ could be a list of messages, displayed as files
  • To check for new messages, just poll the contents of /$USERNAME/.
  • To check for new users, just poll /users.
  • If you want to see what messages $USERNAME has emitted, poll /$USERNAME/

Also one other way is using http PUT & GET

Flaws: it's all broadcast, and it's all polling.

Broadcast is inefficient in the network if you really only want to send a message to a single user. Polling wastes CPU, battery, and possibly network.

On way to handle polling is setting a high timeout for XHR. (Thanks Lucian)