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RE: [Axiom-developer] [TeXmacs]

From: Bill Page
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] [TeXmacs]
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2004 18:03:26 -0500


On Saturday, December 18, 2004 3:04 PM you wrote:
> The "diff-format" output could definitely be improved.  The 
> place to do this is in ZWiki itself, DiffSupport:textDiff.

Yes, I agree. It is particular difficult to understand with long
text lines. The - marker looks ok if each line is short. A strike-out
kind of notation would be nice, but that seems hard to achieve in an
ascii only email. At the very least the long text lines could be
wrapped at some reasonable limit for ascii email and each folded
line prefixed with - or other character. How about

    Pre-context lines (2 or 3 lines)
  < deletions ...                     line folded at 72 chars
  < more deletions
    Post-context lines (2 or 3 lines)

    Pre-context lines (2 or 3 lines)
  > additions ...                     lines folded at 72 chars
  > more additions
    Post-context lines (2 or 3 lines)

would that be more readable?

Sending HTML email with pretty strike-outs etc (like on the
diffs page of the wiki itself) would be nice but it seems that
HTML is still poorly supported by a majority of email clients
in use by people who frequent the email lists. Allowing HTML
email as a user option might be a good idea.

> Also the zwiki folder property (or per-page property)
> "mailout_policy" can be set to either "comments" or "edits".
> Right now it is set to "edits" so is sending out these diffs.
> I find them useless, and for most cases "comments" is appropriate.
> Note that when in "comments" mode, emails will also be sent
> when new pages are created, but not when pages are edited.

I had a lot of second thoughts about enabling the "edits" mode
especially before there was the preview option since then there
were a lot of unnecessarily detailed diffs being generated as
one got a page to look the way one wanted. The preview function
relieves a lot of that.

But I worry about missing important changes to a page since a lot
of times the main reason for subscribing is to track such changes.
> Is there some way we could have a hybrid?  e.g. when a page 
> is edited we send out the entire page with a comment at the
> top "this page was edited".  If one wants to see line-by-line
> changes it can always be retreived through the zwiki interface.

I am tempted to say that all that is necessary is to send a
notice containing a url link to the diffs of a page if there
is some change on that page. That way the user could see the
diffs displayed in nicely formated HTML and easily navigate
to the page if they want to read the whole thing. But perhaps
we do want to include something more useful in the email
notice itself. However I think the whole page for each small
change might be a bit too much.

Bill Page.

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