TLDR; Etherpad has changed a lot over the last few years, you should check out some of the great new stuff.
There has been a lot of progress in Etherpad but you might not know about it all because the instance you are using might be old and out of date. We wanted to make it easy for you so here is what’s new in Etherpad since we went open source nearly 5 years ago!
Plugin Framework and management
Client side plugins extend the editor functionality with excellent user experiences such as video conferencing, rich text editing, images, tables, comments, markdown, LaTeX and so much more. On the Server side hundreds of plugins extend Etherpad including support for email notifications, pad management, authentication.. The list really does go on so you should open it in a new tab and check it out when you have a few minutes spare!
Etherpad provides an admin page which provides functionality to edit settings, check your instance settings and manage plugins. Best of all the admin page is super quick and easy to use, similar to how WordPress does plugin management.
From High Resolution screen support to screen reader support to Internationalization (Translations) to Keyboard shortcuts we’re really keen to improve accessibility on the front end. On the back end various well documented clients and libraries for both the API and editor all supported by excellent Etherpad core documentation. We have also focused on document portability ensuring your ENTIRE pad including every single edit(and it’s history) can be exported and taken from one Etherpad instance to another, something no competitor offers.
Huge performance increases
The “old” version of Etherpad was stable up to about 20 people on a pad, after that things got a bit shaky. We’re now testing up to about 250 users on a single pad, way beyond what competitors can offer.
We now provide both automated front-end and automated back-end testing for Etherpad. This has helped uptime instances be way within the 99.9% threshold required by most operators. While we’re constantly improving on this we’re really proud of the latest figures (99.993% up-time) across our enterprise supported instances and we hope to keep pushing for even better stability moving forward.
Recently we began providing our security releases as CVEs, this has helped the security community do deeper audits of Etherpad to move forward to a more secure piece of software
You know what commercial services are, if your company is using Etherpad then you probably have an internal guy that’s your Etherpad guy. Without that guy we wouldn’t exist as a project so here is an opportunity for us to say thanks! If you are that guy and you feel like you would like some support with your Etherpad instance do get in touch and we’d be happy to connect you to someone that can help. If you are a developer or admin and enjoy working with Etherpad then also get in touch, we can connect those dots too!