[texworks] Document Version-ing and synctex Previewing

Charlie Sharpsteen chuck at sharpsteen.net
Tue Jun 21 20:57:53 CEST 2011

On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 1:51 AM, Paul A Norman <paul.a.norman at gmail.com>wrote:

> Thanks Alain,
> That at first glance looks really really useful, and very well established
> and supported.
> Will explore it for our needs when I get time.
> I wonder of this sort of need  is a possible aspect of the planned eventual
> Project Management side of TeXworks?
> Thanks again,
> paul

I played around with this a month ago---was thinking about integrating
libgit2 <http://libgit2.github.com/> into TeXworks. This would provide a
cross-platform built-in way to store versioned information without requiring
the user to install and configure additional version control software. Most
modern version control systems can read Git repository dumps so it would be
easy to export projects to another system of the user's preference. libgit2
still needs some work before it is fully ready though---it needs a
networking stack and the ability to do tree-diffs between snapshots of a
project. The networking stack is being built as part of a Summer of Code
project and so there should be some exciting developments later this year.

I've always felt that TeX is starting to lag behind other document
preparation systems in the collaborative editing/review area. Microsoft Word
has had "track changes" and other review systems for years. Apple just
announced an Auto Save feature as part of OS X 10.7 that automatically
tracks snapshots and allows one to browse the entire timeline of a document
and drag document components back and forth between versions. We definitely
have the tools to do similar things in the TeX world, but it is difficult to
get an entire team of people to buy into them. Asking someone to learn TeX
plus a version control system all at once can be a tough sell. If version
control was built into the editor in a transparent fashion, it would be a
lot easier for newcomers to deal with.

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