[pmwiki-users] RFC: Page History & Word-level diffs

Petko Yotov 5ko at 5ko.fr
Wed Feb 17 17:34:04 CST 2010

Hello. I'd like to request some comments from the community about two changes 
of the default layout in a page history.

When authors click on the "History" link, they see the differences between 
page versions with mostly[1] rendered output, ie. '''bold''' is rendered as 
bold text, a line starting with "!!" is rendered as a heading, [[#anchors]] 
are not visible, etc.

To see the differences in the source-wiki-text, authors need to click on the 
link "Show changes to markup". It shows then the complete changes in plain 

I'd like to read your comments on changing the default page history to show 
the changes on the source-wiki-text instead of the rendered HTML.

There will of course be an easy way to revert to the previous way, by editing 
config.php, or by clicking on the link "Show changes to output".

I believe authors understand wiki markup and there is no problem for them to 
look at the source changes -- and it is actually better/easier to understand 
what happened (and an opportunity to practice for unfrequent editors). Other 
wiki engines (Mediawiki/Wikipedia) show only changes to the source-text.

My second question is about the new word-level difference highlighting -- 
should it be enabled by default? 

Admins could of course switch back to plain text, by editing config.php.

Now it isn't default enabled, and an admin needs to edit config.php. To me, 
word-level diffs are absolutely valuable[2] and an awesome help when reviewing 
page changes. I don't see any good reason *not* to enable this for most wikis, 
but I'd like to know what people from the community think.

It should be noted that word-level diff highlighting can only work in "source 
mode", not in rendered HTML output, that's why I'm asking the first question.


[1] Mostly: external links are displayed as plain text, and (:directives:) are 
not processed.
[2] Great thanks to Anno who maintains the InlineDiff recipe, and to others 
who suggested improvements.

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