Version Control for Writers

Cory Francis Myers cfm at
Thu Aug 1 16:18:38 CEST 2013

Dylan, I appreciate your starting this discussion.  I'm the lone
programmer among a family of writers and have had this issue at the back
of my mind for some time, without much optimism.  Specifically, to your
point, Elena:

On Thu, Aug 01, 2013 at 09:17:23AM +0200, Elena ``of Valhalla'' wrote:
> On 2013-07-31 at 17:31:51 -0400, Dylan Kinnett wrote:
> > I joined this group because I'm interested in using version control
> > software to help writers, editors, publishers, scholars and archivists. In
> > [...]
> > I would be grateful for any thoughts, comments, advice, etc. that any of
> > you might be able to provide.
> Non directly to the point, but one thing that could help is also moving 
> from office documents to a format that is more vcs-friendly; [...]

As much as I prefer this route myself, I venture that not all writers
have this choice to make.  Journalism outfits and publishing houses
alike have established workflows that depend on Microsoft Word, its
impoverished track-changes feature, and so on.  Plain-text diffs aren't
realistic in these settings.

It's the usual problem: the extensible, exportable, future-proof options
involve adapting domain-specific tools like Git; the mass-marketable
options are closed by implementation if not by design.  At this point
I'd rather see a general-purpose versioning filesystem than more format-
specific tools.  As nondestructive image-editors become more popular I
suspect we'll see interest in this direction for a lot more than just

	--- cfm.

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