CRATE: a real-time distributed and decentralized CollaboRATive Editor.

We are happy to announce the first public release of CRATE. CRATE is a real-time distributed and decentralized CollaboRATive Editor running directly in web browsers. CRATE is available at

  • A short video explains how to use it.

CRATE aims to scale to large number of participants working on large documents. It relies on two main components; LSEQ [1, 2] to manage the shared document, and Spray [3] to gossip operations on a network of browsers. Compared to Google Docs:

  • CRATE does not limit the number of simultaneous users. We tested it uptill 600 participants typing over a million characters at a global rate of ~100 characters per seconds. How many can you get? ;D
  • Thanks to WebRTC, you can collaborate without any service providers. Your documents belong to you and whom you trust.
  • Yet, CRATE is not as nice as Google Docs . It still lacks of wysiwyg capabilities and group awareness.

CRATE is developed within two research projects: The CominLabs project DESCENT and the ANR project SocioPlug.

CRATE is still in its very early stage of development. Therefore, the application may be buggy. Also, even basic functionalities are not implemented yet. Feel free to request functionalities, report issues, and ask your questions at this link.


[1] Nédelec, B., Molli, P., Mostefaoui, A., & Desmontils, E. (2013, September). LSEQ: an adaptive structure for sequences in distributed collaborative editingIn Proceedings of the 2013 ACM symposium on Document engineering (pp. 37-46). ACM.

[2] Nédelec, B., Molli, P., Mostefaoui, A., & Desmontils, E. (2013). Concurrency effects over variable-size identifiers in distributed collaborative editingIn Document Changes: Modeling, Detection, Storage and Visualization (Vol. 1008, pp. 0-7).

[3] Nédelec, B., Tanke, J., Frey, D., Molli, P., Mostefaoui, A. (2015). Spray, an Adaptive Random Peer Sampling ProtocolTechnical Report.

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