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Why can't two people work on the same article?

asked 2017-07-27 12:26:54 -0500

When my classmate and I were working on the same article I got an edit conflict when I tried to save my work. Why can't two people work on the same article?

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answered 2017-07-27 12:27:01 -0500

Two people cannot edit the same article because of the software Wikipedia uses, as it cannot automatically reconcile both users' edits. Wikipedia has some recommendations on what you can do to minimize the chances of receiving an edit conflict:

  • Saving your work frequently reduces the risk of your experiencing an edit conflict, and when you do they should be easier to resolve.
  • When practical, edit one Section at a time. This reduces edit conflicts because the system can cope if different editors are editing different sections at the same time. This may not work with VisualEditor.
  • Start new articles in sandboxes and move them to mainspace only when you are ready to stop editing them for an hour or so and instead watch what others do to them. If you are both trying to edit one sandbox, try to coordinate edits offline.
  • Wikipedia has an "In Use" notice in its Template namespace that people may use when editing a live page over a long period of time. This may discourage other editors from editing while you are editing. Simply put {{inuse}} on an article before proceeding with a major edit, and remove the template when the editing is complete.
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Asked: 2017-07-27 12:26:54 -0500

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Last updated: Jul 27