Last modified: 2009-05-16 17:11:54 UTC
I'm sure this has been thought of if not suggested before, but ifnot I'm suggesting it now. This idea is in the context of providing extra modes for viewing articles in addition to the view, edit, and print modes, etc. (sidenote: Print mode could be usable as an alternate viewing mode if only it used some padding around the sides. Will file new bug).
Among these possible modes is a color-history mode, which (after some magic) displays the article text in view mode using a color scheme, each of which is associated with an Username or IP, or else with particular edit diffs.
A sidebar key will show the Usernames in order of the article's current text, and the colors are less important as is the ability to read the text and distinguish one block of edits for another. Of course, links to particular diffs would also be nice, though this might be complicated in modes which color code by editor and not by diff.
Sounds a lot easier than it looks of course. I understand it only insofar as it involves scanning the article's history diffs for changes, associating in some way those changes with their editors, and resolving any merging, conflicts, overlap, and minor edit bias. The app must compile a separate picture of the above, and translating sometimes complicated diff data into some kind of visible code that must be reasonably faithful and not oversimplifying. History depth is also an issue, and to some degree there can be options with regard to what chosen depth, method of sorting, or mode of display are used. Reference tags could also conceivably be attributed to the person who added them, but these are less easy, and might ignore subsequent edits within the tag.
There are probably philosophical aspects involved, but the idea of making it easier to tell who does what seems to be an elementary one.
*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 639 ***