|nfoWorks > rct> Repaired Change-Tracking (provisional cover)|
Tracked Changes: Navigating the Document-Format Anti-Pattern
Dennis E. Hamilton
DChanges '14 Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on (Document) Changes: modeling, detection, storage and visualization, 2014
The principles behind Repaired Change-Tracking (RCT) are not limited to change-tracking and apply whether or not change-tracking is relied upon. Namely,
The key principle, described in the publication, is that the achievement and preservation of document fidelity is a consequence of engineered alignment between software operation and the human-perceived document. This is termed manifestation fidelity.
Manifestation fidelity is an empirical notion. It is about the perceived document: what the user sees, understands, and experiences themselves manipulating. It is not about document files the coding and formats of which are incomprehensible to the community of intended users.
To have engineered an alignment between how a document-file format is interpreted by software and the manifest document, there must be some form of testing by which manifest fidelity can be inspected for and confirmed. This testing is necessarily empirical. It can be specified.
A prerequisite to interoperable change-tracking is confirmation of manifestation-preserving interchange as part of collaborative interchange, including after edits..
3. RCT Approach
The RCT specification is produced as a hypertext on the web.
RCT extensions are technical additions to the document files that signal the producer's honoring of RCT principles. There will be an RCT profile specification that identifies the extensions and how the compliant production of them invites verification by empirical assessment.
At the foundation of the assessment process are document files and empirically-repeatable tests by which manifestation-preservation is confirmable for processors that produce and consume such files.
RCT has levels of manifestation-fidelity preservation that are amenable to independent, empirical assessment. For the interchange interoperability level, document files produced under the requisite conditions carry the producer's declaration that an RCT profile holds and an RCT-aware consuming processor can rely on that.
Although tracked changes are expressed entirely in terms of changes to the document file, not any manifestation, there is confidence that the changes can be manifest properly wherever the RCT profiled interoperability and change-tracking conditions are satisfied.
This is the early entry point to the work on development of the RCT profile scheme.
Supporting analysis and exploratory work is captured on-line. Precursor material can found and viewed in additional areas of the nfoWorks site.