LaTeX Online: Options continue to grow

The idea of using ‘The Cloud’ for working with documents is very much on the rise. For collaborative work, particularly with less-experienced users, the idea of leaving things like version control ‘built in’ is very attractive. This approach is also a good way to use LaTeX on portable devices, where installing a TeX system may be tricky.

There are now several online services, all of which seem to offer a core set of idea (an editor, previewer and TeX system for compiling, and almost certainly version control). Keeping up with the different services is tricky: I’ve come across

All of them offer those core services, and some advertise other goodies such as DropBox integration (SpanDeX does).

What people want to know is probably ‘which service is best’. Some of these have been round for a little while now, but none can claim a long history, so at the moment there’s probably no one clear leader. Not everyone will be comfortable with an online service: letting other people store your data is not something that’s risk-free, while if you want the latest version of every package you use, you’re likely to need to have your own set up.

I’d love to hear people’s experiences of these services: my colleagues don’t use LaTeX, so I don’t have the opportunity to test out the big ‘selling points’ of these sites.