On Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 11:41 PM, NorfCran <norfc...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Yes, I do not want to replace the text files with XML (the concept based
> on TXT files is the most flexible in my opinion). You are right, attaching
> additional meta information in a shadow file is the only way.
> Since you have asked for use cases, I am going to model some of them
> separately for a notebook and for a single page, in order to illustrate
> utilization of Time Stamped Text (TST):
> *notebook*
>    1. search the most recently modified pages by a time range
>       - hierarchical structures like wiki are dynamic and often changes
>       happen on many pages, so why not to preserve this flow determined by 
> time
>       in its natural form?
>       - ordinary search with many matching pages may be filtered out by a
>       time range, which is almost possible only very generally based on ctime 
> and
>       mtime in the zim's database
>  *page (main utilization of TST)*
>    1. highlighting up to date changes by smooth versions stored in TST
>    data structure
>       - most up to date changes are highlighted for instance by a red
>       color and it fades to black (so it is easier to see, in case of
>       modifications and revisions)
>    2. provides possibility to revert changes by performing undo and redo
>    any time even though the text buffer is no longer available
>    3. time is a natural binder for any other activity performed in
>    parallel to the note taking process → for instance searching information on
>    the web (traceable from browser's history)
>  One of my projects attached to the email researches a graph
> data-structure among other solutions capable of storing timestamps per word
> chunks (as a lowest granularity) separated by spaces. The data-structure is
> based on graphs and it has been implemented, but it is still not robust
> enough for all cases. Maybe it can bring some additional understanding and
> further direction of our discussion.

OK, I would plan something like that as follow:

1/ Come up with a compact patch / diff like format that we can use to store
small changes in a "journal file" next to the source file)
2/ Hook up a plugin to write such a patch file and update on each auto-save
3/ Add an API to the plugin such that we can
   a/ query timestamp for a specific piece of text in a specific file
   b/ can request timestamps for each part of the current version of the
   c/ request previous / next change for a given file
4/ Extend the search function to use API part "a" and add a column to the
search dialog
--> fulfills first use case

5/ Extend the page view to use API part "b" to highlight recent changes
6/ Hook up the undo/redo-manager
   a/ to use API part "c" to extend undo in the past
   b/ send data to the plugin per change as they happen, instead of waiting
for auto-save
--> fulfills 2nd use case

Probably the quickest result for a first result would be if you look into
step 1-3a and I hack in step 4. If that is working I'm willing to help with
steps 5 & 6 to integrate into the editor widget.


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