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Subject: Another thought on change tracking and terminology


Nothing urgent but a couple of more thoughts on change tracking and

As you read earlier this week, ISO 29500 uses "revisions" instead of
"change tracking." Neither of us is likely to change usage so just an
FYI for readers of both standards on what to search for in
documentation, etc. (More of a note to myself, I search for the wrong
terms depending on which standard I am looking at. I need to find space
for a sticky note on my monitors.)

Oh, the other thing that occurred to me was in principle, once a change
is *applied*, the resulting document instance, if serialized at that
point is well-formed XML and a valid ODF document.

That is as changes are applied to the document, its starting state as an
empty ODF document instance becomes a new state with additions and/or

While a user may see:

Here is a string of text contained in a paragraph element.

And here is another string of text in the succeeding paragraph.

With changes as follows:

Here is a string of text <delete>contained in a paragraph element.

And here is another string of text </delete>in the succeeding paragraph.

The capturing of those changes would be as follows (in an imaginary syntax):


del "contained in a paragraph element." (end of paragraph syntax remains)

del "And here is another string of text " (paragraph remains)

copy "in the succeeding paragraph."

insert "in the succeeding paragraph." (after the existing text)

del empty paragraph


Two things to notice:

1) The document after each change remains well-formed and valid.

2) Any XML processor can perform the series of changes.

Before Svante raises the issue of "pending changes," well, they are just
that aren't they? Pending changes.

Whether your interface can display or offer choices concerning pending
changes is a software question. As far as the document is concerned, you
can produce the well-formed and valid document with the barest minimum
of XML software.

Comments, suggestions? .


PS: Who made changes, dates, times, ids, etc., all the things you find
in ISO 29500 are important but I'm unlikely to reach those until framing
a potential syntax for discussion. I'm hopeful it will be more light
weight than the, err, verbose methods in ISO 29500. ;-)

Patrick Durusau
Technical Advisory Board, OASIS (TAB)
Editor, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS), Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300
Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps)

Another Word For It (blog): http://tm.durusau.net
Homepage: http://www.durusau.net
Twitter: patrickDurusau 

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