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Topics previous marked with ChangesProject (withdrawn as this style of group topics wasn't very successful):

Tracking Topic Changes (Project)

Launch and summary page for Codev discussions related to tracking changes to topics - anything to do with alerting users to the changes they are interested in, and making those changes easy to locate...

Includes: notification methods like WebNotify; diffs displays; WebChanges; personalization and customization; instant notification; author-selectable changes classifications; highlighting changes;...


Intro

ChangesProject is one of several topics intended as gateway pages, to organize various elements of Codev in a few user-centric categories, in a way that makes it easy and attractive to spot trends, themes, and core dev ideas, from amongst the hundreds of posts accumulated here. We'll see...

  • ChangesTopics - duplicate of list above; all topics tagged so far

The validity of the ProjectGroups and their definitions. Some feedback would be cool. But it'll work it's way out in any case as the page groups get bigger...

-- MikeMannix - 29 Dec 2001

One general comment about almost any proposed TWiki feature, but particularly this ChangesProject - it's very useful to surf around to the key Wiki sites (PhpWiki, UseModWiki, MeatBall, OpenWiki, AbbeNormal, etc.) to see what they've done, as there is almost always an existing Wiki that has provided a nice prototype of the TWiki feature! InterWiki makes it easy to link to and from other Wikis to show examples of the feature in context. This would probably help us come up with better TWiki features.

-- RichardDonkin - 13 Jan 2002



Initial Random Notes

All of the notes below were written to this point, before really getting into the literal examination and organization of page contents. If you happen to be helping out, feel free to edit heads and copy at will, as a Project page format hasn't yet been worked out.

What the User needs

PICK Tracking changes is important. One of the problems we have had in our installation of TWiki is that people can't track the changes easily.

Email is still a good model for collaboration because people get triggered by the email-received event, and can act on it according to different priorities. To incorporate this model into the Wiki concept is an important challenge. Simple "notify me" [WebNotify] won't do it; it should more precisely fit the individual user's needs. The final decision on the importance of being notified of a change is best left to the reader, rather than the person making the change. If changes were classified according to the degree that content was modified, the user could decide, for example, "I will subscribe to be notified only for major changes").

Ideally, it should work the way humans communicate changes by email, something like: "I just added a new section to the document we are writing. Can you review it?" That is more natural, and allows us to retain the human aspects involved in collaboration.

-- (edited) VinodKulkarni - 14 Jun 2001 - DiffsHardToRecognize


Tracking system requirements

Major challenges in a creating a flexible changes tracking system are (initial draft):

  1. Recording changes in a way that:
    • maintains an accurate physical record
    • automatically handles non-semantic changes (ex: Rename/move)
    • allows the person editing to select the type of change (ex: format-only; minor; major)
  2. Providing user notification of changes that:
    • offers an easily-managed set of notification options (ex: all changes; major changes only)
    • notifies by a user-preferred method (ex: email; on login) and frequency
    • allows the system, the editor and the user to control notification for related topics (topic group notification as a subset of an entire web)
  3. Providing a changes browsing environment that:
    • makes it easy to pinpoint the latest changes
    • creates clear comparisons between any two versions of a topic
    • displays user-specific selection of changes, based on date last-viewed
    • displays changes to related topics according to user-selected criteria

Changes classification

The person making changes should be able to classify the type of change:

  • a gramatical/formatting correction
  • No change in semantics; just a minor change in the wording of the sentence (basic copyediting)
  • Added/removed/changed information (a factual correction, a change of wording in a phrase or paragraph, a minor added note)
  • Major change modifying the overall content of the topic

An even higher level of "personalization" of would be to let the topic originator to define the changes criteria that are meaningful for the topic. For example, for a list of restaurants, the significant types of change could be:

  • Added/removed a restaurant listing
  • Added more info to a listing
  • etc...

Contributors: VinodKulkarni


Current problems

  • WebChanges displays updates triggered by automatic operations like Rename/move
  • WebChanges displays updates triggered by "trivial" (non-semantic and minor syntax/typo changes) editing (maintenance or "caretaker" functions)
  • Do people understand/use the Minor changes, don't notify feature?


Proposed solutions with related topics

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Topic revision: r14 - 2004-10-01 - CrawfordCurrie
 
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