Improved Locked Document Editing

Foster Brereton 7 years ago 0

Problems arise from the following set of steps:

  1. Open a locked document
  2. Make edits to the document
  3. Save -> Get Error about document being locked

The issue is getting the file unlocked painlessly so the user can save the edits made up to this point. I realize there are plugins that exist to auto-checkout files in source control, but this is an orthogonal issue. For example, if the checkout/unlock operation fails, the user is stranded with edits that cannot be saved.

Possible resolutions include:

  • Let the user drag the document icon (in OSX) in the window bar to another application to copy the file path. As of step 2 above it is greyed out and cannot be dragged without undoing the edits. 
  • Prevent the user from making edits in step 2 until the file has been unlocked. This is how other editors like BBEdit and Xcode behave. This would also be the point at which version control plugins would want to attempt to check out the file.
  • The ability to overwrite the locked file during step 3. Some kind of dialog to either cancel the edit or unlock the document. This would be a fallback option in the event a plugin failed to checkout/unlock the document, so the user could still save the edits (they would, of course, be on the hook for checking out the file manually.)
  • The ability to get the full path of the frontmost document quickly copied to the clipboard so it can be pasted in another application to checkout/unlock the locked file, making step 3 succeed.