Version Control for Writers

It seems to me that the old “save as” trick is not very much more efficient than my grandmother’s habit of using carbon paper. In 2013, surely there are some more sophisticated tools for storing and comparing multiple drafts, or versions, of a written document. Might I use those tools, to study her work, or to keep track of my own? Wouldn’t others want tools like these? Authors, editors, literary scholars, archivists: all eventually have to do work with multiple versions of a text.

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The Death of Hypertext?

If the world doesn’t yet have a strong, ongoing body of hypertext literature, could it be because the idea was born before the widespread popularity of web standards? Are the early hypertexts akin to the early attempts at bookmaking, and so will hypertext literature require an element of conservation science in order to survive? Will it be transcribed or upgraded, the way the ancient writing was transcribed from scroll, to manuscript, to book, to database?

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Altered Text

I’ll call it altered text, although for the thing I have in mind there are actually many things, many names, from many times and places. My notion of “destroyed text” is somewhat unique, but not really. I’ll show you some examples of a family ideas I think the idea is descended from. I’ll try to give you explanations, citations and examples for each.

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