Is it possible for ELAN to work with a read-only and a writeable version of the same corpus?

Hello, I’m working on the BSL corpus. The team are looking to have a file locking mechanism for our .eaf files, however, when searching multiple .eafs for particular features, we wouldn’t want to lock all of the files in the domain, since others should be able to access them unless they are being edited.

We understand that version 5.8 has a file locking mechanism (we’re currently using 5.5) but since it is only for files opened from the main ELAN window, that wouldn’t cover this scenario. We hit upon a potential option which would be to have two separate locations (available to the standard system file picker) that allowed access to the same corpus data, a read-only one and an editable one. Only the editable one would thus require locking (this locking is to be managed by our data storage solution).

In this way, we would perform searching (and anything else that required no alterations) on the read-only location without locking any files. However, we would like to be able to edit files chosen from the search results - the way ELAN can jump directly to part of the video/eaf where the search feature is found, is extremely useful to us.

In this case, is there any way for ELAN to give us more choice as to where the files selected from the search results are taken from, so that we could optionally get the file from the location where it is editable, as opposed to where the search was done initially?

I’d greatly appreciate any guidance on how this might be achieved or whether or not it is possible. Perhaps, this is a query that another team has had in the past? If so it would be useful to learn from their experience. Also, I’d be happy to provide further explanation if that would be helpful.

Xifong