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From Brian May <>
Subject changebars
Date Wed, 13 Sep 2000 22:05:08 GMT

I often wondered how you would go about integrating changebars into
something like Cocoon2? By this, I mean the bars that appear in the
margin of the text that indicate when the text has changed. At the
moment I am assuming that DocBook format is used, but if possible any
XML format should work ;-).

LaTeX has something like this (chbar.sty and changebar.sty), but this
is broken in many places, and I was wondering if a XML solution could
be any better.

IMHO, This is a difficult task, but has lots of applications.

My thoughts on the matter. I think the task can be divided into 4

1. keeping track of the different versions of a source XML file.  This
could be done with CVS.

2. detecting changes in the XML file. This could be as simple as a
diff operation, or as complicated as you want...

3. somehow marking up the XML file to indicate what has changed. inline?

eg you could add a new attribute:
<P haschanged="true">text that has changed</P>

or put XPath entries into another file:
<changed location="/article/section[2]/para[3]"/>
<deleted location="/article/section[2]/para[4]"/>

I think the 2nd might be better, as it doesn't mean changing the
original XML file in anyway. However, even this has the limitation
that the minimum marked is one element.

(the deleted thing probably wont work... see if you can work out why! 
oh well...)

4. displaying the changebars. Not sure if this is even possible in
HTML...  Perhaps something else could be used instead (eg different
text formatting or something).

Comments anyone?

Is this even feasible with C2?
Brian May <>

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