Project copy v1... v2... v3...

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was a bit put out that there was no sensible solution to sharing projects in a read only fashion.
I just wanted to expand on that and outline where I find this to be a problems and what a possible solution would be to rectify this.

I have always been a big fan of the shared asset library/project. I use them for sound effects, music, graphics, clocks/bars/tone/company branding and logos etc. Anything that is not project or episode specific.
Lets take one of these asset libraries as an example - the music library.
I would like there to be one single music library for every editor on the SAN, so that whenever the composer adds a writes a new track, its available to all editors by opening/checking out the music project. The editors only need read access to this project and the assistant (who adds the files to the project) is the only one who needs write access. If new files were added during the day, as an editor, all you'd have to do would be close the project and re-check it out in its read-only form. Due to Final Cut Server not having a good solution for read only projects, at the moment, there are separate music projects for every user.

Here's a scenario...
Edit 1 has a project checked out and open in FCP, Edit 2 needs to pull a clip or check the timecode of a music cue etc from this project.
Currently, if a project is locked/checked out by another user (eg Edit 1), you have to duplicate that project within FCSvr before Edit 2 can access the project. You can obviously end up with quite a few duplicates all over the place this way!
Not good.

Now here's an idea...
A nicer option would be to have the ability to check out the locked project as read only, or with the knowledge that you were not going to be able to check it back in with the same name. If you wanted to make the write to the project, you would only be able to check it back in by saving it with a different name and checking it in as a new project. - a nice big warning box should do the trick to remind users:
"This project is currently checked out by <user>. You can duplicate the project and check out the duplicate, or you can check out a read only version of the project. Read only projects can not be checked back in to Final Cut Server"
...or something like that!
Oh, and while we're on the subject, if you did change the project name and check it back in to FCSvr, it'd be great to have a link back to the parent project in the metadata... that's all for now!

FCP isn't great for that kind of workflow

It's for this reason I use CatDV server as a "pool" for content like your music library - any user can get those assets by selecting the "production" (in your scenario, music libraries) and selecting "send to FCP". User permissions can be fine-grained, so say only the primary editor can alter the music library. 

I push as much of the team workflow to the "pre-editor" as possible (shot selection, metadata and sometimes basic edits). That leaves FCP for the actual production, with most of the big decisions - and the added value the team just put into the 'pile' - visible & searchable later by anyone.

Shame though, isn't it?!

Thanks for the idea of using CatDV. I used it on a show a few years back...
I get what you're saying about having user permissions - it'd be nice to have that dynamically change, depending on certain criteria. Maybe CatDV does that, I can't remember and we didn't use the server version.

It'd be great to be able to just stay in FCSvr, enabling you to use the other bits of that, which work quite well - status changes etc. I just don't see why it'd be so hard to add something like my proposed "Check out read-only copy" idea.

For the most part, its not that much of an issue as usually I can just drop my assistant a note to add/change/do stuff! But it is this kind of thing that would cause problems implementing FCSvr in a larger environment than ours. Fingers crossed there are some improvements here at some point, but I won't hold my breath!