Firebase (YC S11) launches Firepad, an collaborative editor just like Google Docs that's open source

Y Combinator-backed Firebase is expanding the infrastructure that it offers to app developers with its first module — Firepad, a Google Docs-style text editor that allows you to collaborate with others.

To a consumer, that might not sound very exciting. After all, we’ve already got Google Docs. However, co-founder and CEO James Tamplin said that those kinds of capabilities are limited to big companies with “a ton of Google-quality engineers.” With Firepad, however, developers can add text editing and document collaboration to their own apps without too much extra work.

To build Firepad, Tamplin said his team had an advantage, because “we’ve got most of the pieces in place already.” Building on top of the existing Firebase platform made things “significantly easier,” but he added, “It still wasn’t trivial.” Firepad is a full-featured text editor, with capabilities like conflict resolution, cursor synchronization, user attribution, and user presence detection.

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