An edit conflict is a computer problem where multiple editors cannot all edit the same item during a short time period. The problem is encountered on wikis or distributed data systems. An edit-conflict occurs when a shared document is being edited by more than one person at the same time, and the attempted changes are treated as being incompatible with each other. One person attempts to edit the document, but upon trying to save the new version, another person has already modified the document in the intervening time period, thus causing a difference between the attempted edit and the already-made edit that must be resolved manually. The software will then generate an "edit conflict" error message. According to computer writer Gary B. Shelly, "Many wikis will block the contributor who is attempting to edit the page from being able to do so until the contributor currently editing the page saves changes or remains idle on the page for an extended period of time."
If a significant amount of new text is involved, the editor who receives an "edit conflict" error message can cut and paste the new text into a word processor or similar program for further editing, or can paste that text directly into a newer version of the target document. Simple copyediting can be done directly on the newer version, and then saved.
- Michael Antonovich (2010). Office and SharePoint 2010 User's Guide: Integrating SharePoint. p. 321 (752 pages), quote: "Edit conflict on a list linked to SharePoint".
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