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Using Subversion and Svn-time-lapse to Edit a Manuscript, Take 1

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Neil Saunders started the thread here and here of using subversion to maintain your files, projects and general stuff. Myself, I find trac a little bit clumsy to check differences between two versions. It is easy to see what has been changed but if the modifications are large it gets a little bit tedious to scroll down and search everything. An example is below.

Example of file comparison in trac (2 versions, Python)

Enters svn-time-lapse, which seems to be a very interesting tool to compare two versions of a file. I decided to test it on a manuscript edition. I first created a a repository on my Desktop and added an old LaTex file. I replaced this file with a different version of the article (1 or 2 revisions ahead) and opened the repository with svn-time-lapse. The program instantly highlights the portions of the article that are different and display both side by side. One advantage is that svn-time-lapse already gets a certain number of revisions from the repository that can be compared to the current file. A scroll on the top gives an extra help moving from one revision to another.

svn-time-lapse example

The program is available from the developer’s website, Jon Aquino, and from Google Code. The release still needs some polishing but it is stable enough to be used extensively.