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History Flow Shows How Wiki Articles Evolve
IBM has released a preliminary alpha version of its History Flow Visualization Application that shows how collaboratively created do*****ents evolve. The tool is written in Java and it's available for download. The application includes online help, as well as a plug-in for retrieving the history of a given page from any MoinMoin "wiki." ("Wikis" are Web sites that are freely editable by anyone who visits them.)
How does it work?
History Flow Visualization Application represents each document as a vertical
line whose length corresponds to the length of the document. The technology then
applies a standard "diff" algorithm to successive versions of a document, using
periods and angle brackets to indicate changes. This level of detail is
effective for free-form prose. After matching passages of successive versions
have been identified, the matches are represented onscreen by a parallelogram
connecting the appropriate sections of the document segments. Both segments and
parallelograms are colored to indicate authorship.
History Flow Visualization Application has four main visualization modes that
display the contents of the document being analyzed as it changes over different
versions. Each one of these modes highlights different aspects of authorship and
content changes as these evolve over time.
- Community view: This is the default mode and it shows all contributions
from different authors, color-coding the text to indicate the author of each
- Individual author view: This mode highlights the contributions of a
single author and it depicts the persistence of these contributions over
- Recent Changes View: This mode highlights the new content in each
version of the Wiki page, independent of authorship. This view allow us to
see what portions of the text have been edited the most over time.
- Age View: This mode has no colors representing authorship; instead, the
focus is on the persistence of different contributions. A gray scale
gradient goes from white (brand-new contribution) to dark gray (very old
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