(Forking and Pull-requests for those familiar with Git)
We are excited to announce that Simul now enables you to send and receive specific versions between documents. This allows you to create copies of a document without all your draft revisions and merge any changes back into your master copy, which remains under your control.
Document copies aims to solve the problem of sharing a document with a set of users who should not see the draft workings or contribute to the original document. It provides an isolated area for collaboration which can be copied back to the master document with an owner’s permission.
This is perfect for sharing with clients, senior management or just maintaining alternative versions of a document.
At some point, you may decide you want feedback on a specific version without sharing the entire document. On the version you wish to share, select the “More options” menu and “Push to copy”:
You will be taken to the copies management screen. If you are creating a new copy for the first time you will see something similar to the following:
Type a new name for the copy - it should be related to the original but also clearly state the purpose for the diversion.
This copy will appear as a new document which clearly states it has been copied.
You can then invite members and work on this document like any other. The copied document will have its own set of draft versions and tasks. When appropriate, versions from this document can be copied back to the master copy as detailed below.
In the master document, you will see a message that the version has been copied to a new document. The revision visualization will also show a small horizontal line through the circle indicating that the version has been copied elsewhere:
Meanwhile, work can take place in the copy and will not show up or affect the master document. Members of the copy can then “push” a specific version back to the master using the same process as above. The only difference this time is that the author will see the master document as an option to push to:
The pushed copy will then appear in its own separate branch in the master copy. The copy will have no previous version and a larger horizontal line in the revision visualization indicating that it is an incoming copy:
The pushed version is then treated like any other version and can be edited or merged with the master branch:
The master document can then absorb these copies and move forward as the unified source of truth.
One of the aims of copies is to allow users who are not a member of a document to propose revisions which can then be accepted or rejected by a member. The process shown above occurs when the user pushing a copy is a member of both documents.
The process for pushing a copy to a document for which you don’t have access is very similar, except that a member must review your revision. The copy will appear as shown above with an approval request which any owner or contributor can action:
If the copy is accepted, then the copy becomes a regular version. If it's reject, it will be removed from view and the "pusher" of the copy informed as illustrated below:
Only members who have been invited to a direct copy of the document by an existing member can propose revisions.
Copies adds a new layer of branching and merging, not only are versions within a document branched, but documents themselves can now be branched on demand. We are very excited about this feature as we believe once you embrace frequent branching and merging, you will wonder how you ever got by without it!
We hope these new document management concepts can help you work more efficiently with your documents.
As always, we appreciate any feedback!