Open source tools for collaboration on a CECOP resource

I think I kind of know the answer to this, but I could be wrong …

I am facilitating a European (CECOP) working group on democratic innovation in Worker and Social Coops and ideally we would use something like Google docs to build a reading list and resource, but open source based. Have been watching what @edsaperia and co have been doing on with great interest.

The problem is some of the participants in the WG are not at all techie. I know people say GitHub, but how much training would I have to do (on myself and them) to get that up and running smoothly? Is there an idiot-proof, super user friendly, open source alternative?

Or do I need to wait for the revolution and use GDocs in the meantime?

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Open source document collaboration:

A Nextcloiud server would give you a Gdocs-like facility along with the file storage to keep those files in the cloud. Webarchitects provide these.

Something like CodiMD -, although that may require a little more tech nous - uses Markdown for file editing.

A wiki


Another option is simply an Etherpad, which could be installed with Cloudron— and i think i could have embedded it in my page rather than linking, if i’d put any effort to get https set up.

I agree though that CodiMD is the best option for real-time simultaneous editing, and i don’t think markdown would be much of a barrier.

NextCloud is great but a bigger lift to install (comes with a membership though) and [edit: finish this sentence hours later… also doesn’t do simultaneous editing all that well, from what i hear]

Netlify - - is a good option if you want to be able to produce something clearly website-like that can handle large amounts of traffic. It does not have simultaneous editing though— Concurrent editing · Issue #277 · netlify/netlify-cms · GitHub

Graham were you going to suggest wiki software? MediaWiki which powers WikiPedia is still a fine industrial-strength solution!


Personally I tend to avoid editing anything hosted by Google if I can…

Webarchitects can provide virtual servers running Nextcloud but this would be overkill for one document, we can also provide MediaWiki sites on shared hosting and this comes with a nice editor (via Parsoid) however it isn’t designed for multiple people editing document at the same time, so, I agree a Etherpad type solution would perhaps be best if WYSIWYG isn’t essential…

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The best open source Google docs alternative is nextcloud plus onlyoffice.

@Sion I’d be very happy to add you as a user to where I’ve got exactly that up and running if useful? :smiley:

This would allow you to create docs and then share links with other non-users who will also be able to edit them.

Imho neither Etherpad nor CodiMD much good for non techie documents/ users.

Both are shockingly shit on mobiles and eg Etherpad doesn’t even have a button for creating links!

I actually much prefer Nextcloud’s plain text documents for most similar use cases. It also allows simultaneous editing, works well on mobile, has a link button, and doesn’t need OnlyOffice.

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I could switch the CoTech Nextcloud server over to use ONLYOFFICE (rather than Collabora CODE) at some point this week if I can find some spare time.

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Yeah @Sion just using the CoTech Nextcloud the other obvious option.

Collabora does everything on the server so slower than OnlyOffice.

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Or, for £20/mo I could set up @Sion/ CECOP with their own virtual private server running Nextcloud and OnlyOffice via the service I’m setting up, see Pricing - :blush:

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Thanks for all the tips and offers. A Nextcloud-based solution sounds right if they are interested to commit more fully to open tools for the organisation in the future, with this project as a test.

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Nextcloud definitely the best open source G Suite alternative at present.

I’d say other core open source tools for collaboration are thinks. like Rocket.Chat (Slack replacement) and WeKan (Trello replacement).

Can help with all of this (still setting up but can actually already offer what I’ll be offering there).

There are loads more too, of course ( is powered by Cloudron, so see this for full list Cloudron - App Store ), but I mention those 3 (Slack, G Suite, Trello → Rocket.Chat, Nextcloud, WeKan) because if you look at e.g. Top Ranked Collaboration Tools and Services 2022 | StackShare and Top Ranked Business Tools 2022 | StackShare those are the top 3 of apps that appear in both lists (i.e. those are the top 3 business/ collaboration tools used by tech companies etc).

Looks like that is actually using as opposed to G Docs.

Anyone know and have a view on Framasoft?


I know of the project, haven’t heard a bad thing about it, give it a try and feedback on how it goes?


I’d agree with the others that Nextcloud with Only Office is a nice option (when used from a web browser I think it may be the best open source spreadsheet experience on mobile?)

Other option worth checking may be its well polished


Framasoft is a great project. To fight against centralisation they recently announced they want to reduce the services they offer and encourage people to move to use other hosters that share their ethos.

They created as a francophone mutual support group for such hosters. Somewhat inspired by Chatons is


Webarchitects is a member of the librehosters network.

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Hi folks!

We met the people of Framasoft in the Nextcloud Community Forum, we are willing to work with them in fixing some issues together, but now this idea is in freezed by the covid situation…

@Sion you should look at this:

Gretchen Hacquard from ICA says that they have a Nextcloud instance, maybe you can talk to her…


With ICA using Nextcloud, it would seem sensible for CECOP to align with that. I think there are ways to federate Nextcloud instances in some way?


Another option that I’m just reminded of is the suite of apps from fairkom in Austria: fairapps - Best of Open Source
Can’t be certain, but I’m pretty sure that Thomas König, who was/is the main tech brain behind FairCoin2, is involved. I’ve used the fairchat app to good effect.

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