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Re: What's your favourite *under_publicized* editing feature ofEmacs?

From: Perry Smith
Subject: Re: What's your favourite *under_publicized* editing feature ofEmacs?
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2011 10:05:50 -0600

On Feb 27, 2011, at 9:28 AM, Cthun wrote:

> On 27/02/2011 3:08 AM, David Kastrup wrote:
>> Cthun <address@hidden> writes:
>>> Oh, really? I for one cannot recall ever seeing a version 1.5 of a
>>> novel or a version 2.0 of a magazine article.
>> Well, I've been responsible for the typesetting software for "Die
>> Kritische Gesamtausgabe der Werke von Ernst Troeltsch"
>> [anecdote trimmed]
>> So definitely there were various versions of the same article published.
> But that's not the same thing as software versioning, or anywhere close.
>> The gestation of both articles and novels is rarely linear.
> True enough. But it is also not going to fit especially well to what systems 
> designed for software revision control do. There is a single long piece of 
> text rather than lots of interacting software modules, for one thing; there 
> are no builds or library dependencies or bug reports or feature requests. 
> There's also a point where it's actually *finished*, while software is never 
> finished and has many successive versions released, each fixing the bugs in 
> the previous and adding new features.
> In short there's almost nothing of what source code control systems are 
> actually there for. If you want to be able to recover deleted material you 
> use strikethru (and delete anything still in strikethru when it's done) or 
> cut it and save it to a clippings file or something.

This started back with:

On Feb 26, 2011, at 12:05 AM, Cthun wrote:

> On 25/02/2011 1:43 PM, Jim Janney wrote:
>> Anything I'm working on that would be expensive to lose goes under
>> version control anyway.
> Then woe betide you if you ever work on, say, a novel rather than a computer 
> program.

The phrase you pulled out referred to "version control".  You are now talking 
about source code control systems...

Also, SCMs that I know like git, svn, rcs, bzr, etc do not have any concept of 
build, dependencies, bug reports, or feature requests.  Its one of my 
frustrations.  If you know if a single system that has all those, I'd love to 
know about them.  The only fully integrated example I have is IBM's CMVC and 
IBM dumped it because no one understood it.

Aside from that, I'm not getting your point at all.  An article can easily be 
broken into sections, a book into chapters which are then subdivided into 
sections.  Those sections will have dependencies.  I doubt if the author will 
add those in but the concept still applies.  And as far as history, there are 
countless examples where a single journalistic piece has a very long life to 
it.  Haven't ever listened to where historians go back and review the author's 
original notes?  God... there are entire books about the American Constitution 
trying to reconstruct the various versions and the intentions behind each of 

So... I just don't see anything special about software verses english text as 
far as wanting to track and follow the history at all.

By the way, if anyone else wants this moved to private channels, please let me 
know.  No one has complained yet so I posted to the whole list but this is way 
off topic for emacs as far as I can tell.

Thank you and apologize if necessary

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