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history flow is a research project at IBM to visualise the change history of wiki pages:


"Most documents are the product of continual evolution. An essay may undergo dozens of revisions; source code for a computer program may undergo thousands. And as online collaboration becomes increasingly common, we see more and more ever-evolving group-authored texts. This site is a preliminary report on a simple visual technique, history flow, that provides a clear view of complex records of contributions and collaboration."

"history flow provides answers at a glance to questions like, How many people have made their thoughts and ideas part of the document? Has a community contributed to the text or has it been mostly written by a single author? Is its evolution marked by spurts of intense revision activity or does it reflect a smooth transition from its beginning to the present?"

Sample screenshots:

Visualizing every saved version of the page on "IBM", with versions spaced by revision date. Hues indicate authorship; brightness indicates age of text, with brighter colors being more recent.

Wikipedia page on "Microsoft"; we see many more anonymous contributions (white and gray) than in the "evolution" page above. It's interesting to compare this entry with the entry for IBM!


Currently, history flow visualises data from WikiPedia and MoinMoin. No idea, how a TWiki interface could be implemented. And for TWikiDotOrg in 99% thread mode it's not exciting anyway frown

-- PeterKlausner - 28 Aug 2003

IBM has released a preliminary alpha version of its History Flow Visualization Application. The tool is written in Java and it's available for download along with plugins for MoinMoin and MediaWiki.

It does not have a TWiki-specific plugin, but given the format that the visualization application reads, you may be able to create an adapter pretty easily.

I think there is documentation in the download. Basically if you have a directory of plain text files, the program can get to work visualizing it... You can probably test it by just saving the contents of a couple of history versions to a directory. Let me know how it goes!

-- KeithHelfrich - 12 Apr 2005

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Topic revision: r4 - 2005-04-16 - KeithHelfrich
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