Revision and Markup, continued

Ben Combee (
Mon, 18 Dec 1995 18:26:20 -0600 (CST)

I'm glad to see the discussion here concerning my proposal of
handling RCS (or some other revision control system) in Web
software. After seeing your comments, I'd like to propose a first
stab at handling this.

1) Media type application/x-rcs does not give any information about
the media type of the document under revision control. True. You could
either solve this by using media sub-types or by including a media type
in the administrative header section of the RCS file. I favor the
first solution, but only slightly.

2) RCS only has line level granularity. A problem, I agree. Also,
unlike plain text, it is possible to alter a HTML document without
changing its meaning whatsoever by adding and deleting whitespace.

Now, for my first stab idea: I am considering writing a set of
scripts, probably in Perl, that format a RCS file into a set of HTML
documents. These would include

1) the tree view of the branching hierarchy of a document along
with any comments

2) Any individual version of the document

3) Comparison views between two versions where blocks that differ
are included in parallel with CLASS markup to indicate which
is primary and which is secondary, what was deleted, and what
was added.

I'm considering only doing the third item with block granularity (paragraphs,
lists, blockquotes, etc.) It might be possible to also go down to character
level markup with <SPAN> or do arbitrary level markup with <DIV>, but I
don't want to get so complex on my first attempt. I also don't anticipate
my first effort to work at all with non-valid documents as I'll be
using the parser from sgmls to handle the dirty work of identifying HTML

Any comments are much appreciated.

Ben Combee, CAD Software Developer, small language enthusiast, HTML dude
Motorola, Paging Products Group, Strategic Semiconductor Operation--Austin
E-mail:   Phone: (512) 891-7141