- The German Federal Youth Council provides a freely usable Etherpad server at yopad.eu. The service is financed by the Federal Child and Youth Plan and therefore primarily serves youth work (see also 11.).
- There is no 24/7 support: questions about availability, requests to delete pads (see 5.) or requests to restore (see 7.) are dealt with within normal office hours (Monday to Friday 10:00-16:00).
- The server is located in a large German data centre. Good availability is ensured. Occasionally, maintenance work such as the installation of updates is carried out, but this usually only restricts accessibility for a few minutes.
- A login system is not provided on the server. Accordingly, the server is not suitable for personal or confidential texts. An overview of the available pads is not published. However, pad names may be guessed or can be found by automated bots.
- Pads are NOT actively deleted by the Bundesjugendring. In exceptional cases, the Bundesjugendring can intervene administratively on request and delete a pad. The authorisation must be clearly proven and justified by the user, for example in the case of violations of human dignity or personal rights.
- Names of pads will not be deleted or permanently blocked. This applies to pads that have been administratively or automatically deleted. If different users happen to use the same name, they both access a single pad and can overwrite the content of other users. The pad name is case-sensitive. For example, yopad.eu/p/example and yopad.eu/p/Example are two different pads.
- Pads can be created with different deletion periods. A 30-day period is set as the default: The pad is automatically deleted after 30 days of inactivity. A frequently used pad remains permanently if it never reaches the 30 days of inactivity. With a 365-day period, the pad is deleted after 365 days of inactivity. For the 1-day period, correspondingly 24 hours after the last use. PADS CANNOT BE RESTORED AFTER DELETION! It is not possible to change the period of time for a pad afterwards.
- There is the possibility to share a pad address with a "read-only link": Information on this can be accessed via the corresponding button in the pad at the top right (</>). Important: All user:s who guess the original pad address can still write. The editing history and the chat history can be viewed by all those who have access to the pad.
- The German Federal Youth Council provides the Etherpad server within the scope of its possibilities. The focus is on making the operation as stable and secure as possible. Etherpad extensions are problematic because they either break pads or are no longer compatible with software updates (such as with a table extension or the word-counting module).
- Etherpad is not suitable for more complex documents (graphics, tables, page numbering) and other document types (presentations, spreadsheets, drawings)! Pictures, tables or other documents cannot be imported into Pads. Import attempts of this kind make Pads unusable.
- The service is currently not restricted for schools, science and non-profit as well as commercial enterprises. The German Federal Youth Council explicitly points out that it will impose restrictions if the high workload from these user groups makes it unreliable for youth work.
Etherpads enable spontaneous joint work on texts. This is useful for locally distributed groups and teams. To make this work even easier, frequent questions and answers are compiled here.
Why is the connection sometimes unstable?
Often, an unstable connection to the Etherpad is due to a limited internet connection of the end device. Especially with a wireless internet connection (using WLAN or mobile internet access), connection interruptions can occur.
The end device itself can interrupt the connection: Because of power-saving mechanisms, browsers now quickly "put to sleep" the tabs in the background. This kind of standby state temporarily interrupts the connection to the Etherpad. Furthermore, the general load on the end device can cause applications to run slowly or drop out of memory. Care should be taken to ensure that as few applications as possible are open at the same time.
It makes sense to use a web browser that is as up-to-date as possible.
Why do some participants have new font colours?
The font colour is randomly assigned when a pad is opened for the first time. You can change it yourself in the top right-hand corner. When returning later, it happens more often that a new colour is assigned: Because the system works without a login system, there are very limited possibilities to recognise individual users. The pad generates a random identifier as a cookie. As long as the browser has saved the cookie, the Etherpad can recognise users and continue to use the font colour.
Depending on how a browser (Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Safari, Vivaldi, Opera) is configured, it will keep or delete cookies when restarted. If it is to be ensured that a user is to be recognised again, the respective cookie must not be deleted.
Browsers offer to enter a deletion exception for individual servers. Apart from this, users can subsequently set their colour appropriately as described.
What can be done if the import or export function does not work?
Etherpad offers various methods and file formats for exporting. The different formats are supported in varying quality. In case of doubt, the simple copy & paste works: mark the Etherpad text and transfer it to another programme (word processing). This applies equally to the way into the pad - for import.