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PengYou document collaboration software shows promise

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PengYou is a promising Java-based client/server document management solution and versioning tool for individual users and small workgroups of up to 10 users. In its current version -- a very early stage of development -- PengYou offers only bare-bones functionality, but the developers have all the basics right.

PengYou consists of several modules, including a server, a Web front end, and client software for Writer and Microsoft Word. The PengYou Server is relatively easy to install. The only prerequisite is the Java Development Kit, which must be installed on your machine. You also have to make sure that the JAVA_HOME environment variable is added to the system (the PengYou Server manual describes in detail how this is done on both Windows and Linux). To "install" the PengYou Server, simply download the package and unzip it into the desired location. To launch the server, run either the startup.bat (Windows) or (Linux) script. No special hardware is required for running the PengYou software, although the developers recommend using at least 1GB of RAM for better performance.

The default PengYou installation allows everyone to access and manage documents.

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