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Idealog AlliesWork In Progress (Chris)
Corrections, Updates, and Changes
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, writes about how he dislikes "stealth corrections", but at the same time thinks "there's something perhaps a bit too self-important about posting an audit-trail note every time you make a minor stylistic edit to a post."
I like to think that here on Intermediate Form, I've found something of a balance. Generally, I write blog entries on my desktop computer here on Long Island. This computer also runs the secret intermediate form beta/work-in-progress site, where I can preview posts in progress. When I'm happy with the post, I check it into CVS on my server in Texas, where tom.idealog.info is located. A few seconds later, the post is automatically checked out of CVS, and scripts run to post it on the actual blog itself.
As many technical people know, but some non-technical people may not, CVS is the concurrent versions system, which provides a framework for keeping track of multiple versions of a file on a system. One of the benefits of using CVS is that a history is kept, and people can see how a file looked at any time in the past. With proper tools, CVS can be used to show things like diffs, lists of changes between versions of a document.
Clicking on the "changelog" link at the bottom of a post leads you to a page showing the history of changes to the post. Each version has a message I gave when posting it, and links to view the source to that post, and a list of differenced between that version and the previous one.
Every change I make to this site is processed through CVS, and is made available to anyone who cares to look. While I occasionally do write notes explaining major changes to the text of an article, minor changes (like fixing typos) are always noted in the log, and there's never any completely stealthy editing.
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