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Old 01-11-2012, 01:19 PM   #1
Steven Lake
Sci-Fi Author
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A File Versioning Plugin for Open/Libre Office

I posted this today on my blog, and thought I'd share the idea here as well, since I think this would be something that could benefit a lot of writers here. Plus I'm interested in your thoughts on the plugin idea. Plus, if any of you happen to be programmers, you might consider taking up this idea and building such a plugin, as it'd be hugely useful. Anyhow, here's the original post for your perusal.

Quote:
Hey there fellow coders and programmers. I'm making this post in my blog as a plea to the coding community to help out myself, and I'm sure countless others as well, with a small problem. Namely, file versioning. However, before you walk away, let me first explain what my idea is, and then you may chose to ignore this request, or fulfill it.

The file versioning system I'm thinking of goes along with a system I already use in my much of my writing. The way it works, I start out with a simple file name, say "book title" or "project title" and then append the date of the file after it, sorta like this: "book title (2012-10-23).odt"

So you have the title of the project first, and then the date of the project in quotes using a "yyyy-mm-dd" format. So far this has worked beautifully for me, and I know I'm not the only one doing this. The reasons for saving each revision with a given date are two fold. The first is to provide a record of past edits, and preserve them should I wish to go back later and review or retrieve items out of them.

The second comes from an experience years ago when my primary work file became corrupted, causing me to lose all of my work on what was at that time a fairly large book. Since moving to a system where I take all the work from that particular day and save it under a new name, it's ensured that should the file ever collapse and become corrupt again in the future (which it has on a couple of occasions) I will only lose that day's work, and not the entire manuscript.

However, currently I have to do all of this manually. If there were a plugin that could do it automatically, I'd be ecstatic, and hugely grateful to whoever pulled this off. Being a programmer myself (I do mostly web dev, but not system or plugin coding) I understand the basics of what is necessary, and thus would suggest this as a feature. Have the plugin feature a configuration screen with the ability to set the date formatting style, maybe even possibly using the methods that the PHP date() function does it.

So for example, a configuration line might look like "$file ($Y-$m-$d)" which would give you the "book title (2012-10-23).odt" I gave as an example above. Adding in something like "$min:$sec" at the end could even give you the ability to version based on when you last saved too, for those who might want to be that zealous with their versioning. Either way, something like this would be hugely useful for myself, and I'm sure many others. So if someone could jump in and tackle this, it'd be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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