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Deep diffs: visually exploring the history of a document


Shannon, R and Quigley, AJ and Nixon, PA, Deep diffs: visually exploring the history of a document, AVI '10 Proceedings of the International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces , 26-28 May 2010, Roma, Italy, pp. 361-364. ISBN 978-1-4503-0076-6 (2010) [Conference Extract]

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DOI: doi:10.1145/1842993.1843063


Software tools are used to compare multiple versions of a textual document to help a reader understand the evolution of that document over time. These tools generally support the comparison of only two versions of a document, requiring multiple comparisons to be made to derive a full history of the document across multiple versions. We present Deep Diffs, a novel visualisation technique that exposes the multiple layers of history of a document at once, directly in the text, highlighting areas that have changed over multiple successive versions, and drawing attention to passages that are new, potentially unpolished or contentious. These composite views facilitate the writing and editing process by assisting memory and encouraging the analysis of collaboratively-authored documents. We describe how this technique effectively supports common text editing tasks and heightens participants’ understanding of the process in collaborative editing scenarios like wiki editing and paper writing.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Text visualization, temporal visualization, wiki, versions, collaborative writing, editing, diffing, undo, history, Wikipedia
Research Division:Information and Computing Sciences
Research Group:Library and information studies
Research Field:Human information interaction and retrieval
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the information and computing sciences
UTAS Author:Quigley, AJ (Associate Professor Aaron Quigley)
UTAS Author:Nixon, PA (Professor Paddy Nixon)
ID Code:68621
Year Published:2010
Deposited By:Information and Communication Technology
Deposited On:2011-03-15
Last Modified:2011-06-02

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