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One of the most important aspects of a wiki (see WhatIsaWiki) is PeerReview. It is necessary for building a community and enabling SoftSecurity. PeerReview should therefore be as quick and easy as possible, with an interface that encourages thoroughness.

Therefore, for each page provide a single point of access to the PageHistory. Review is of change, so provide clear diffs between any user-selected revisions, highlighting exactly what has changed. However, context is also critical, so provide rapid access to context: for instance, a small amount of context in the diffs, easily expandable at a single click, plus clear links to the full text of each revision. Context also includes the recent history of the page, so ensure this is also clearly visible AboveTheFold along with the diff.

To minimise the cost of interaction with this page, provide a sensible default diff (we suggest all changes by the last author as easy yet convenient), and utilize AsynchronousAutorefresh when possible to reduce clicking when this default is incorrect.


I can't believe this page wasn't here. I've basically described the thoughts I had when making MeatballWiki's current PageHistory, plus observations Alex made on EditDigest I hope to incorporate. -- ChrisPurcell


However: If not well designed, PageHistory precludes ForgiveAndForgetInSoftware (and by extension ForgiveAndForgetInWetware), especially when it keeps every version of a page ever. This is best demonstrated by WikiPedia - just wander over to their page on the Arbitration Committee. See how all the arguments are peppered with links to diffs that each side perceives as inflammatory actions. Though PageHistory makes vandalism reversion and revision tracking easy, it also has the social downsides. - NatalieBrown


CategoryWikiTechnology

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