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TorgoX (1933)

TorgoX
  sburkeNO@SPAMcpan.org
http://search.cpan.org/~sburke/

"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Tuesday April 02, 2002
06:44 AM

Version kontrol

[ #3922 ]
Dear Log,

« It could be the case, though rare, that the author - narcissistic and fanatical about his own changes, and using some kind of special computer program - has kept somewhere, inside the memory of the machine, all these intermediate changes. But usually this does not happen. Those "ghost" copies have vanished; they are erased as soon as the work is finished. »

-- Literary game of drafts: Umberto Eco on technology and ghosts in the machine

So speaks the licensed navel-gazer Eco. And contrary to Eco, I just keep everything to do with a given project in a subdirectory, and when the project is "over", I just burn that to CDROM, complete with all four dozen in-progress versions of a chapter/article/chapter. And every day (at least!!) that I work on a chapter/article/whatever, I increment its filename. So chapter 9 starts out ch09aa and ends up with ch09an or something; and then I might skip to ch09ba when a draft comes back from the editor. I so very rarely go more than two versions back, so in theory I might as well throw out all the versions at the end, except for the last two or three files. But why bother? The files are small, certainly compared to the capacity of a CDROM, so it's never worth the time it'd take me to go thru the files and figure out which revisions are worth keeping.

Am I the only one who works this way? Because it's sure unlike what Eco describes, unless I fall under his "narcissistic and fanatical" clause.

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  • This is why people use RCS or CVS. I'm reaching the point now where I want to set up a cvs repository for my authors. Not only is trading huge files a waste of time, but a repository would avoid the near coronaries I have when Word shits itself and I lose a section or a day's edits ...

    Thanks for explaining your naming scheme. I was just about to send you mail asking!

    --Nat

    • I met Xavier Cazin (editor at ORA France) a few days ago and he mentionned using CVS for a number of things already, with a nice set of Perl scripts that performed various tasks. I don't recall him mentionning that he had author/translator/etc books in there, but he might have omitted that detail so perhaps you should ask him about it :)

      --

      -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]