Moodle, say hello to Etherpad

Today we’re pleased to announce a Moodle module that makes collaborative writing inside of Moodle a doddle. Real time editing inside of Moodle brings even more functionality to the worlds most popular Educationally focused Learning Platform. If you want to try it out before you install you can use our sandbox Etherpad deployment at

If you require any assistance deploying Etherpad Lite or help installing new plugins or features then please get in touch.

PrimaryPad offers a hosted Etherpad Lite instance too that can be leveraged so you don’t need to host your own, this service comes with an uptime guarantee and SLA that should provide your school with the piece of mind and simplicity of deployment.

Get the module now

Watch a video guide for how to get started.

We want to send a huge thanks out to Chris K from Dearborn Public Schools for leading on this project and also @spnova who lead the development.

Further reading ODT PDF DOC

Etherpad at the London Ajax User Group

On Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 6:00 PM at The Skills Matter eXchange Peter M from the Etherpad Foundation on Etherpad Lite

This is a must see event and only the second time Peter (The original author of Etherpad Lite) has given a public presentation about Etherpad Lite so attendees will be treated to some behind the scenes info and an insight to some of the amazing projects the foundation is involved with.

Register to attend now

Etherpad Hackathon 2012 update

So we’re half way through our hackathon and we have some updates..

We have decided to drop the Etherpad Legacy nameand allow Etherpad Lite adopt the name of Etherpad, we are still working on getting the same features into Lite that were in Legacy so until then this is just an agreement.
The plugin framework is now in very early alpha and developer docs are due today.
A number of bugs have been squashed
We have decided on a prefix for the plugin structure ep_
A number of plugins have been written and will be available to review soon
We now have some example users that we are using for internal discussions.

We’re looking for a nodejs community liaison master, can you help?
We’re looking for a bugmaster, can you help?
We’re looking for someone to lead our continuous testing efforts, can you help?
We’re looking for someone with bugzilla experience and resources, can you help?

2012 Etherpad road map

Our road map is designed to give users, developers and site admins the ability to see where the Etherpad Community is going with Etherpad and what areas we need help with.

Replace Etherpad (“legacy”) completely with Etherpad Lite.
Write some User Documentation.
Complete a Plugin Framework.
* Create a group Management Plugin.
* Create a rich Text plugin.
Completely support full migration from V1 to V2 including saved revision support.
Implement optional natural language processing.
Implement optional Distributed bug tracking.

If you feel you can help then please get in touch :) We need all the help we can get!! Thanks

Getting a name wrong.

We’re having a bit of a reflection period at the Etherpad foundation lately. A big issue for all of us is the name “Etherpad Lite”. We really messed that up. Etherpad Lite isn’t Light for the users, Etherpad Lite is light for the admin and the business’ bottom line.

We made the code base 80% lighter, the application requirements 80% lighter, the system requirements 80% lighter but we kept the majority of the functionality.. In fact, we introduced more via an API. More potential for developers.. We also made it wayyyy easier for developers to get started as we reduced the whole 3 language stack(scala, java, javascript) down to just one language.

So why Lite and why not V2?
We didn’t want to upset any foundation members. We knew we had a bunch of talented Java guys we didn’t want to upset and lose so we took the 1/2 cocked descision and tried to keep everyone happy. In hindsight, this was a terrible mistake. We are now 100% sure that the pure JS approach is the future, adoptions are up, performance is up, all of the indicators the foundation committed to from day one are showing positive signs.

We’re a family focused on making the collaborative web better. A group of people made this call and the same group of people are committed to finding a good solution.

Like any organization or individual we know that we have to correct our mistake so we’re on the hunt for a better name for Etherpad Lite.

A consideration is “LinePad” which would stand for Lite Is Not Ether.. Pad…
Another consideration is NodePad, also Etherpad V2, also Etherpad N (N for Node), also Etherpad JS…

So many choices, how do we make the right one?

Etherpad Vs Etherpad Lite — Which is right for you?

TLDR; Use Etherpad Lite.

We adopted Etherpad in December 2009 and instantly we knew we had a problem. The stack of software required to deploy Etherpad was huge and this meant deploying Etherpad was limited to Linux only. Our goal is to make collaborative editing the standard on the web and we knew that with the existing pre-requesitives we would be scaring too many people off. The pre-requisites also placed additional load on the server and increased complexity which meant that future development came at a really high cost. With this in mind we always knew we wanted to rewrite Etherpad to run on multiple OS’ and be kinder on system resources.

Etherpad Lite was the solution. Etherpad Lite does not suffer from the same flaws/gifts as Etherpad. The assumption people make (this is our mistake) is that some functionality does not exist in Etherpad Lite. Some of the pro functionality was replaced with an API so that sysadmins can write their own back-end and easily integrate Etherpad Lite into their current system. Writing a management back-end is a grind and not really core to what we wanted to achieve but we will soon be releasing something that will “tick this box”.

In general we would recommend you use Etherpad Lite however there is a certain scenario you may choose to use Etherpad.

Etherpad (NON LITE) should be used if you want a really quick, short term fix for a problem that requires managing multiple users with permissions. We would recommend a maximum of 15 concurrent users and be mindful that support may be limited because most of the community is now working on Etherpad Lite. We would still recommending using Etherpad Lite and doing a days worth of development integrating your existing CMS using one of our many libraries.

Etherpad Lite should be used the rest of the time. If some functionality is missing please contact us and/or look on the web. We have a service and consultancy team waiting to help and we want to help you get Etherpad integrated into your organization/platform/service.

What’s the future of Etherpad Lite?

We have set milestones up to V1.3 which will take us into 2013 and we’re constantly organizing meet-ups and hackathons. We are not excluding any features or ideas and given time and resources we will achieve our goal. We want to build a community that is passionate about building Etherpad and continuing the development so to do this we have issued a number of gun.IOs and other financial incentives that have complimented our employment program.

What’s the future for Etherpad (Legacy)

We’re obviously not completely stopping our support for Etherpad Legacy but we are doing everything we can to encourage developers and users to adopt Etherpad Lite. Given time we hope to either rename Etherpad Lite to Etherpad or Etherpad v2 or something, we have quite a few decisions to make here and we hope to make them over the next few months.


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