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Old 02-10-2009, 05:59 PM
Hendrik Boom
 
Default Please brainstorm: Word-processor compatible with version control

I'd like a word processor compatible with version control systems
(hereafter abbreviated VCS) Having been duly impressed for decades now
how useful VCSs are for programming, I'd like to use them for writing as
well.

I use monotone as my VCS. but I don't suppose my trials are unique to
monotone.

There are a few other requirements, too, such as ability to export to
file formats often demanded by publishers (such as pdf, Word, and plain
ASCII text)

Here are more details. Most of the problems is that the file formats
inflate tiny changes to huge changes.

(1) When I arrive at two versions of a document (maybe one has spelling
error corrected, and the other is rewritten from a different POV), I'd
like to be able to merge the changes. Now often there are one-word
changes that appear on the same line of text. Conventional merge tools
just register this as a conflict, even though it's trivial to resolve.
THis is because VCS's tend to be line-oriented.

(2) Word processors tend to insert an overkill of layout information.
Often a simple change of layout policy causes every line of the text to
be changed, leaving proper merging hopeless. In the past, Abiword
suffered form this. I have no idea if it still does. Precise layout
information belongs in a style sheet, not in the main text. I thought
this was understood since the days of SGML.

(3) Word processors that leave text in a human-readable form (properly
word-wrapped, for example) cause insertion of a single character (such as
a spelling change) to affect the layout of entire paragraphs.

(4) Word processors that use a binary file format are hopelessly
inaccessible to a VCS. Word and WordPerfect are examples of this. So is
the ODT file format used by Open Office.

I'm currently using an ad-hoc notation in UTF-8, edited in emacs,
formatted by homebrew code. I'm careful never to change the source
layout significantly while editing, but even so I have trouble merging
multiple independent changes within a line. Breaking it all up into a
sequence of one-word lines is technically feasible,m and will work with
most VCS's, but is a holeless way to edit.

I suspect I'll be able to hack up something to export to *some* of the
more conventional file-formats. I'm alreday producing Postscript my
printer will take, and a weird mark-up that cuts and pastes well into
Livejournal.

Isn't there something that already does most of what I really need?

-- hendrik





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Old 02-10-2009, 06:20 PM
Ron Johnson
 
Default Please brainstorm: Word-processor compatible with version control

On 02/10/2009 12:59 PM, Hendrik Boom wrote:
I'd like a word processor compatible with version control systems
(hereafter abbreviated VCS) Having been duly impressed for decades now
how useful VCSs are for programming, I'd like to use them for writing as
well.


I use monotone as my VCS. but I don't suppose my trials are unique to
monotone.


There are a few other requirements, too, such as ability to export to
file formats often demanded by publishers (such as pdf, Word, and plain
ASCII text)


AbiWord's XML is probably close to what you want.

Here are more details. Most of the problems is that the file formats
inflate tiny changes to huge changes.


(1) When I arrive at two versions of a document (maybe one has spelling
error corrected, and the other is rewritten from a different POV), I'd
like to be able to merge the changes. Now often there are one-word
changes that appear on the same line of text. Conventional merge tools
just register this as a conflict, even though it's trivial to resolve.
THis is because VCS's tend to be line-oriented.


A user might want to, for example, change the margins, or convert
from single-column to multi-column. That's why
single-line-per-paragraph is so useful.


(2) Word processors tend to insert an overkill of layout information.
Often a simple change of layout policy causes every line of the text to
be changed, leaving proper merging hopeless. In the past, Abiword
suffered form this. I have no idea if it still does. Precise layout
information belongs in a style sheet, not in the main text. I thought
this was understood since the days of SGML.


I think it still does. But a line in a paragraph, so maybe it's
better now?


(3) Word processors that leave text in a human-readable form (properly
word-wrapped, for example) cause insertion of a single character (such as
a spelling change) to affect the layout of entire paragraphs.


(4) Word processors that use a binary file format are hopelessly
inaccessible to a VCS. Word and WordPerfect are examples of this. So is
the ODT file format used by Open Office.


ODT is zipped XML. Otherwise, they'd be *huge*.

I'm currently using an ad-hoc notation in UTF-8, edited in emacs,
formatted by homebrew code. I'm careful never to change the source
layout significantly while editing, but even so I have trouble merging
multiple independent changes within a line. Breaking it all up into a
sequence of one-word lines is technically feasible,m and will work with
most VCS's, but is a holeless way to edit.


I suspect I'll be able to hack up something to export to *some* of the
more conventional file-formats. I'm alreday producing Postscript my
printer will take, and a weird mark-up that cuts and pastes well into
Livejournal.


Isn't there something that already does most of what I really need?


I'd take another look at AbiWord. And maybe file a couple of
specific bugs against it regarding integration with VCS.


--
Ron Johnson, Jr.
Jefferson LA USA

Supporting World Peace Through Nuclear Pacification


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Old 02-10-2009, 08:41 PM
"Stackpole, Chris"
 
Default Please brainstorm: Word-processor compatible with version control

> From: news [mailto:news@ger.gmane.org] On Behalf Of Hendrik Boom
> Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:59 PM
> Subject: Please brainstorm: Word-processor compatible with version
control
>
> I'd like a word processor compatible with version control systems
> (hereafter abbreviated VCS) Having been duly impressed for decades
now
> how useful VCSs are for programming, I'd like to use them for writing
as
> well.
>
[smip]

This probably isn't what you are wanting in whole, but it might be
something to consider. I tried finding something very similar to what
you were wanting for a friend who writes a lot. The best they had come
up with was eclipse with a few document management plugins they found
connected to a subversion server. I moved them to mediawiki as a test,
and they really liked it. From all of the versioning, to the linking of
documents, to the ability to outline and update the order of the outline
with almost no work, they loved everything.

The only two complaints they had was getting their work into a .doc or
.pdf required cut and paste then verify the formatting. Then after they
formatted it, they had to manually save the file back into mediawiki to
keep the revision history.

However, they write small books, article, newsletters, ect. So nothing
on a grand scale. I think the biggest work I know of is just over 50
pages of a normal 12 point font Courier document. I can see where
anything large could run into problems here.

Hope it helps.

Have fun!
~Stack~


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Old 02-10-2009, 10:33 PM
Emanoil Kotsev
 
Default Please brainstorm: Word-processor compatible with version control

Jochen Schulz wrote:

> Hendrik Boom:
>>
>> I'd like a word processor compatible with version control systems
>> (hereafter abbreviated VCS) Having been duly impressed for decades now
>> how useful VCSs are for programming, I'd like to use them for writing as
>> well.
>
> I wonder why you didn't even mention LaTeX in your post. Don't you know
> it or don't you consider it because you need MS Word documents?

Thats what I was going to suggest, but for pity only technicians and univ
people use to use LaTeX. I've been using LyX, and it also has integrated rc
system. I never used it, but as far as I know open office and word have the
so called change tracking or something alike.

main disadvantage of LaTeX is though the lack of buziness (Microsoft)
integration and WYSWYG capability, the advantage is that it is the one and
only true text processor that I've ever used. I would say if MS would have
used LaTeX their product would be really fantastic and every pc user would
know about it ... but anyway ... I can understand them as they sold first
windows versions for dos ... and porting latex to dos would be ... well too
much.

cheers





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Old 02-10-2009, 10:41 PM
Emanoil Kotsev
 
Default Please brainstorm: Word-processor compatible with version control

Stackpole, Chris wrote:

>> From: news [mailto:news@ger.gmane.org] On Behalf Of Hendrik Boom
>> Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:59 PM
>> Subject: Please brainstorm: Word-processor compatible with version
> control
>>
>> I'd like a word processor compatible with version control systems
>> (hereafter abbreviated VCS) Having been duly impressed for decades
> now
>> how useful VCSs are for programming, I'd like to use them for writing
> as
>> well.
>>
> [smip]
>
> This probably isn't what you are wanting in whole, but it might be
> something to consider. I tried finding something very similar to what
> you were wanting for a friend who writes a lot. The best they had come
> up with was eclipse with a few document management plugins they found
> connected to a subversion server. I moved them to mediawiki as a test,
> and they really liked it. From all of the versioning, to the linking of
> documents, to the ability to outline and update the order of the outline
> with almost no work, they loved everything.
>

sorry to oppose but wiki is not really an alternative to LaTeX or any other
editor.

> The only two complaints they had was getting their work into a .doc or
> .pdf required cut and paste then verify the formatting. Then after they
> formatted it, they had to manually save the file back into mediawiki to
> keep the revision history.

Why no one mentioned HTML or alike You can write perfectly. Windows reads
it, OOO reads it Mozilla, IE and so on????
and it can be kept in rc

Believe me I write a lot. In fact try LyX ... it has wonderful
documentations. You need about a week or a month to know some useful tricks
but you won't regret

regards


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Old 02-11-2009, 01:01 AM
 
Default Please brainstorm: Word-processor compatible with version control

>
>
>
>---- Original Message ----
>From: ron.l.johnson@cox.net
>To: debian-user@lists.debian.org
>Subject: Re: Please brainstorm: Word-processor compatible with
>version control
>Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 13:20:26 -0600
>
>>On 02/10/2009 12:59 PM, Hendrik Boom wrote:
>>> I'd like a word processor compatible with version control systems
>>> (hereafter abbreviated VCS) Having been duly impressed for
>decades now
>>> how useful VCSs are for programming, I'd like to use them for
>writing as
>>> well.
>>>
>>> I use monotone as my VCS. but I don't suppose my trials are unique
>to
>>> monotone.
>>>
>>> There are a few other requirements, too, such as ability to export
>to
>>> file formats often demanded by publishers (such as pdf, Word, and
>plain
>>> ASCII text)
>>
>>AbiWord's XML is probably close to what you want.
>>
>>> Here are more details. Most of the problems is that the file
>formats
>>> inflate tiny changes to huge changes.
>>>
>>> (1) When I arrive at two versions of a document (maybe one has
>spelling
>>> error corrected, and the other is rewritten from a different POV),
>I'd
>>> like to be able to merge the changes. Now often there are
>one-word
>>> changes that appear on the same line of text. Conventional merge
>tools
>>> just register this as a conflict, even though it's trivial to
>resolve.
>>> THis is because VCS's tend to be line-oriented.
>>
>>A user might want to, for example, change the margins, or convert
>>from single-column to multi-column. That's why
>>single-line-per-paragraph is so useful.
>>
>>> (2) Word processors tend to insert an overkill of layout
>information.
>>> Often a simple change of layout policy causes every line of the
>text to
>>> be changed, leaving proper merging hopeless. In the past, Abiword
>
>>> suffered form this. I have no idea if it still does. Precise
>layout
>>> information belongs in a style sheet, not in the main text. I
>thought
>>> this was understood since the days of SGML.
>>
>>I think it still does. But a line in a paragraph, so maybe it's
>>better now?
>>
>>> (3) Word processors that leave text in a human-readable form
>(properly
>>> word-wrapped, for example) cause insertion of a single character
>(such as
>>> a spelling change) to affect the layout of entire paragraphs.
>>>
>>> (4) Word processors that use a binary file format are hopelessly
>>> inaccessible to a VCS. Word and WordPerfect are examples of this.
> So is
>>> the ODT file format used by Open Office.
>>
>>ODT is zipped XML. Otherwise, they'd be *huge*.
>>
>>> I'm currently using an ad-hoc notation in UTF-8, edited in emacs,
>>> formatted by homebrew code. I'm careful never to change the
>source
>>> layout significantly while editing, but even so I have trouble
>merging
>>> multiple independent changes within a line. Breaking it all up
>into a
>>> sequence of one-word lines is technically feasible,m and will work
>with
>>> most VCS's, but is a holeless way to edit.
>>>
>>> I suspect I'll be able to hack up something to export to *some* of
>the
>>> more conventional file-formats. I'm alreday producing Postscript
>my
>>> printer will take, and a weird mark-up that cuts and pastes well
>into
>>> Livejournal.
>>>
>>> Isn't there something that already does most of what I really
>need?
>>
>>I'd take another look at AbiWord. And maybe file a couple of
>>specific bugs against it regarding integration with VCS.
>>
>>--
>>Ron Johnson, Jr.
>>Jefferson LA USA
>>
>>Supporting World Peace Through Nuclear Pacification
>>
There was an old (and perhaps updated) UNIX package called writer's
work bench, written by Lorinda Cherry I believe
Larry
>>
>>--
>>To UNSUBSCRIBE, email to debian-user-REQUEST@lists.debian.org
>>with a subject of "unsubscribe". Trouble? Contact listmaster@lists.d
>ebian.org
>>
>>
>>




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Old 02-11-2009, 06:55 AM
Micha Feigin
 
Default Please brainstorm: Word-processor compatible with version control

On Tue, 10 Feb 2009 15:41:36 -0600
"Stackpole, Chris" <CStackpole@barbnet.com> wrote:

> > From: news [mailto:news@ger.gmane.org] On Behalf Of Hendrik Boom
> > Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:59 PM
> > Subject: Please brainstorm: Word-processor compatible with version
> control
> >
> > I'd like a word processor compatible with version control systems
> > (hereafter abbreviated VCS) Having been duly impressed for decades
> now
> > how useful VCSs are for programming, I'd like to use them for writing
> as
> > well.
> >
> [smip]
>

What about lyx, it's based on latex so files are text based and editable. It
means that it can also export to pdf, ps, text, html, rtf and a few others. The
debian version works with rcs, there are patches for svn and git, not sure if
svn is already incorporated into the debian version though.

> This probably isn't what you are wanting in whole, but it might be
> something to consider. I tried finding something very similar to what
> you were wanting for a friend who writes a lot. The best they had come
> up with was eclipse with a few document management plugins they found
> connected to a subversion server. I moved them to mediawiki as a test,
> and they really liked it. From all of the versioning, to the linking of
> documents, to the ability to outline and update the order of the outline
> with almost no work, they loved everything.
>
> The only two complaints they had was getting their work into a .doc or
> .pdf required cut and paste then verify the formatting. Then after they
> formatted it, they had to manually save the file back into mediawiki to
> keep the revision history.
>
> However, they write small books, article, newsletters, ect. So nothing
> on a grand scale. I think the biggest work I know of is just over 50
> pages of a normal 12 point font Courier document. I can see where
> anything large could run into problems here.
>
> Hope it helps.
>
> Have fun!
> ~Stack~
>
>


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Old 02-11-2009, 07:01 AM
Micha Feigin
 
Default Please brainstorm: Word-processor compatible with version control

On Wed, 11 Feb 2009 00:33:41 +0100
Emanoil Kotsev <deloptes@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Jochen Schulz wrote:
>
> > Hendrik Boom:
> >>
> >> I'd like a word processor compatible with version control systems
> >> (hereafter abbreviated VCS) Having been duly impressed for decades now
> >> how useful VCSs are for programming, I'd like to use them for writing as
> >> well.
> >
> > I wonder why you didn't even mention LaTeX in your post. Don't you know
> > it or don't you consider it because you need MS Word documents?
>
> Thats what I was going to suggest, but for pity only technicians and univ
> people use to use LaTeX. I've been using LyX, and it also has integrated rc
> system. I never used it, but as far as I know open office and word have the
> so called change tracking or something alike.
>

lyx also has change tracking from version 1.6 (at least in unstable, I believe
that it's also in testing)

> main disadvantage of LaTeX is though the lack of buziness (Microsoft)
> integration and WYSWYG capability, the advantage is that it is the one and
> only true text processor that I've ever used. I would say if MS would have
> used LaTeX their product would be really fantastic and every pc user would
> know about it ... but anyway ... I can understand them as they sold first
> windows versions for dos ... and porting latex to dos would be ... well too
> much.
>

Again, lyx gives you what you see is almost what you get. There is an emacs
package whizzytex that gives you real time output in dvi in a second window and
preview which shows you the formated equations. There is a mac editor that can
actually link your pdf with your latex so you click in the pdf and you get sent
to the correct line in the latex code, don't recall which it was right now but
support seems to be coming in linux. If anyone is interested I can look it up.

> cheers
>
>
>
>
>


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Old 02-11-2009, 10:30 AM
Eduardo M KALINOWSKI
 
Default Please brainstorm: Word-processor compatible with version control

Emanoil Kotsev wrote:
> and porting latex to dos would be ... well too
> much.
>

There have been DOS versions of TeX and friends since the late 1980's,
possibly even earlier, such as emTeX.

--
I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that
either.
-- Jack Benny

Eduardo M KALINOWSKI
eduardo@kalinowski.com.br
http://move.to/hpkb


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Old 02-25-2009, 12:16 PM
Hendrik Boom
 
Default Please brainstorm: Word-processor compatible with version control

On Tue, 10 Feb 2009 13:20:26 -0600, Ron Johnson wrote:

> On 02/10/2009 12:59 PM, Hendrik Boom wrote:
>> I'd like a word processor compatible with version control systems
>> (hereafter abbreviated VCS) Having been duly impressed for decades now
>> how useful VCSs are for programming, I'd like to use them for writing as
>> well.
>>
>> I use monotone as my VCS. but I don't suppose my trials are unique to
>> monotone.
>>
>> There are a few other requirements, too, such as ability to export to
>> file formats often demanded by publishers (such as pdf, Word, and plain
>> ASCII text)
>
> AbiWord's XML is probably close to what you want.

Last time I looked, Abiword's XML was absolutely stuffed with
obsessive-compulsive layout information. Presumably to make sure that
what I get is exactly what I got the first time by accident.

Has it changed?

>
>> Here are more details. Most of the problems is that the file formats
>> inflate tiny changes to huge changes.
>>
>> (1) When I arrive at two versions of a document (maybe one has spelling
>> error corrected, and the other is rewritten from a different POV), I'd
>> like to be able to merge the changes. Now often there are one-word
>> changes that appear on the same line of text. Conventional merge tools
>> just register this as a conflict, even though it's trivial to resolve.
>> THis is because VCS's tend to be line-oriented.
>
> A user might want to, for example, change the margins, or convert from
> single-column to multi-column. That's why single-line-per-paragraph is
> so useful.

useful, yes, if your editor does word-wrapping without entering the extra
line-breaks into the file.

>
>> (2) Word processors tend to insert an overkill of layout information.
>> Often a simple change of layout policy causes every line of the text to
>> be changed, leaving proper merging hopeless. In the past, Abiword
>> suffered form this. I have no idea if it still does. Precise layout
>> information belongs in a style sheet, not in the main text. I thought
>> this was understood since the days of SGML.
>
> I think it still does. But a line in a paragraph, so maybe it's better
> now?
>
>> (3) Word processors that leave text in a human-readable form (properly
>> word-wrapped, for example) cause insertion of a single character (such
>> as a spelling change) to affect the layout of entire paragraphs.
>>
>> (4) Word processors that use a binary file format are hopelessly
>> inaccessible to a VCS. Word and WordPerfect are examples of this. So
>> is the ODT file format used by Open Office.
>
> ODT is zipped XML. Otherwise, they'd be *huge*.

There's .fodt, too, which is similar, but everything's in one file,and is
*not* compressed. Unfortunately, the entire document now appears to be
one line of text. It seems it would be easy for OpenOffice to insert
gratuitous newlines into the text in standard places, perhaps after every
sentence, or after every markup tag, without changing the semantics of the
XML.

>
>> I'm currently using an ad-hoc notation in UTF-8, edited in emacs,
>> formatted by homebrew code. I'm careful never to change the source
>> layout significantly while editing, but even so I have trouble merging
>> multiple independent changes within a line. Breaking it all up into a
>> sequence of one-word lines is technically feasible,m and will work with
>> most VCS's, but is a holeless way to edit.
>>
>> I suspect I'll be able to hack up something to export to *some* of the
>> more conventional file-formats. I'm alreday producing Postscript my
>> printer will take, and a weird mark-up that cuts and pastes well into
>> Livejournal.
>>
>> Isn't there something that already does most of what I really need?
>
> I'd take another look at AbiWord. And maybe file a couple of specific
> bugs against it regarding integration with VCS.
>

-- hendrik


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