Initial thoughts on Overleaf v2 beta

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I am initially happy with the upgrades available for Overleaf v2 beta. My main reservation is the GitHub permissions coarseness described below. These issues will be addressed throughout 2018 as the ShareLaTeX code base continues to grow into Overleaf v2. For now, I do not use the GitHub integration of Overleaf v2.

Summary

  • Converting an Overleaf v1 document to Overleaf v2 is irreversible–you will have to manually recreate an Overleaf v1 project if you don’t like Overleaf v2.
  • Overleaf v1 will be shut off later in 2018 as Overleaf v2 incorporates the necessary Overleaf v1 features.
  • version tagging is not yet enabled in Overleaf v2 (coming soon).
  • bidirectional Dropbox is a new (paid) feature.

Overleaf v2 GitHub excessive permissions

Overleaf v2 as of May 2018 asks for read/write permission to ALL public & private GitHub repos.

This broad permission ask by Overleaf v2 is completely unacceptable. It’s due to Overleaf v2 being based on ShareLaTeX code using the legacy GitHub API.

Overleaf needs to update to GitHub Apps platform, which allows granular, per-repository permissions. For example, Travis-CI switched to GitHub Apps already, the permissions granularity being a key motivator.

Open source

Parts of the Overleaf v2 code base are open source, due to ShareLaTeX being open source, which Overleaf v2 is based on.

Offline Overleaf

While Overleaf GUI doesn’t work offline, you can edit Overleaf v2 LaTeX documents offline from a Dropbox folder or Git repo on your computer. Offline Overleaf v1 was also possible, but considerably more cumbersome than with Overleaf v2.

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