15 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2023
    1. Hints for Preparing Documents Most documents go through several versions (always more than you expected) before they are finally finished. Accordingly, you should do whatever possible to make the job of changing them easy. First, when you do the purely mechanical operations of typing, type so subsequent editing will be easy. Start each sentence on a new line. Make lines short, and break lines at natural places, such as after commas and semicolons, rather than randomly. Since most people change documents by rewriting phrases and adding, deleting and rearranging sentences, these precautions simplify any editing you have to do later. — Brian W. Kernighan, 1974

      —Brian W. Kernighan, 1974 “UNIX for Beginners” [PDF] as Bell Labs Technical Memorandum 74-1273-18 on 29 October 1974.

      For easier editing and reuse of sentences, or even portions of lines of text, one can (and should) write sentences or sentence fragments on their own lines in digital contexts.

      This way future edits or the ability to more easily cut and paste will far easier in addition to keeping your version control files simpler and easier to read and visually track your changes. (That is in many version control systems, instead of a change appearing to affect an entire paragraph, it will only show on the single line that was changed thereby making the change easier to see.)

      This particular affordance may be a particularly useful one for note takers who expect to regularly reuse their notes in other contexts. Many forms of software (including Tex, LaTeX, and even markdown) will autowrap newlines so that a sentence broken up into clauses on multiple lines will properly wrap back into a proper looking single line when printed. Take care that in many Markdown versions adding two spaces at the end of a line will automatically create a newline in your text.

  2. Nov 2022
    1. Fifty years ago, coinciding with the centennial of the release of Darwin’s manuscript, author Morse Peckham collected all six editions into a single “variorum” text. Peckham painstakingly created a reference system that denotes the modifications and changes between editions. The text was created by Peckham’s careful enumeration of every sentence from every edition, copied onto index cards; from these cards, he carefully assembled them into a final text.
  3. Apr 2021
    1. “Digital technology allows us to be far more adventurous in the ways we read and view and live in our texts,” she said. “Why aren’t we doing more to explore that?”

      Some of the future of the book may be taking new technologies and looking back at books.

      I wonder if the technology that was employed here could be productized and turned into an app or platform to allow this sort of visual display for more (all?) books?

  4. Dec 2020
    1. Everything Lives in GitWith a Jamstack project, anyone should be able to do a git clone, install any needed dependencies with a standard procedure (like npm install), and be ready to run the full project locally. No databases to clone, no complex installs. This reduces contributor friction, and also simplifies staging and testing workflows.
  5. Oct 2020
  6. Apr 2020
  7. Aug 2018
    1. Legislative staff members had finished rewriting AB 375, and a deal seemed imminent. That Friday, as he drank his morning coffee, Mactaggart decided to read the new bill — the fine print — one more time. He noticed a seemingly minor alteration in one section, the kind of thing most people would skip over. Mactaggart realized it would completely gut what remained of the private right of action. Furious, he called Hertzberg and Chau and told them the deal was off. Neither lawmaker could explain who made the change, Mactaggart told me, but Hertzberg scrambled to fix it. “In most negotiations, you are talking to all these different interest groups,” Hertzberg told me recently. “This is a situation where we had to go and reach out to everyone and bring that information to Mr. Mactaggart and ask him what he wanted to do.”

      Here's a case where we ought to consider creating our bills and laws via version control, so we can see exactly who, what, and when things changed along the way. It might mean much less gets done, but there'd be a lot more transparency and accountability.

    1. Contrary to paper notes, computer files do not display the traces or versions that led to their final state.

      This seems weirdly overstated. How do paper notes maintain versions and traces? Electronic documents contain rich sources of meta data for trace analysis, as well as various options to explicitly demonstrate temporal order and change through formatting.

  8. Jun 2018
    1. I think there is a need to develop a system to track the draft of a manuscript from the beginning to the end of the process.

      If you're drafting in WordPress you can set the number of revisions of your posts to infinite so that you can keep (archive) all of your prior drafts. see: https://codex.wordpress.org/Revisions

  9. Sep 2017
    1. a lack of version control over the vast majority of the research literature makes actually ‘adapting’ papers to include post-publication comments is impossible.

      This is also key.