Real Time Collaboration

JupyterLite enables basic support for Real Time Collaboration over WebRTC.

What is Real Time Collaboration

Real Time Collaboration (RTC for short) makes it possible for users to collaborate on the same document at the same time.

Here is an example screencast of what it looks like in JupyterLab:

rtc-demo

Since JupyterLite reuses most of the upstream JupyterLab components and plugins, it also gets support for RTC almost automatically.

The main differences compared to JupyterLab are:

  • the user content is decentralized: users store notebooks and files in their own browser local storage

  • the communication with peers and the initial syncing mechanism happens over WebRTC, instead of the WebSocket Jupyter Server handler in JupyterLab

Enabling RTC in JupyterLite

To enable RTC in JupyterLite, you need to set the collaborative flag in the jupyter-config-data. This follows the same behavior as in JupyterLab 3.1 where real time collaboration is an opt-in feature.

In addition to the collaborative flag, end users must specify the room query parameter in the URL. An example of such URL is as follows: you-lite-deployment.example.com/lab/index.html?room=4869637241

Users are grouped together in rooms using a combination of:

  • the host, for example jupyterlite.example.com or myserver:5000

  • the name of the room parsed from the query string parameter, for example my-custom-room

Currently both collaborative and room must exist for RTC to be enabled. When this is the case, users can collaborate on documents together:

rtc-rtd

See the configuring section of the docs for more details on how to configure jupyter-lite.json.