Are CRDTs suitable for shared editing? Kevin Jahns

CRDTs are often praised as the “holy grail” for building collaborative applications because they don’t require a central authority to resolve sync conflicts. They open up new possibilities to scale the backend infrastructure and are also well-suited as a data-model for distributed apps that don’t require a server at all.

In this article, I will introduce you to a simple optimization for CRDTs and examine the exact performance trade-off of using Yjs for shared editing. I hope to convince you that the overhead is actually very small even for large documents with long edit histories.

The concept paper that describes Yjs’ conflict resolution algorithm YATA is available on Researchgate. The concepts discussed here are pretty generic and could be extended to almost any CRDT.