Apr 1, 2016
Talking with TCB and developer of RevisionJumper gadget at the Hackathon.
The core use case is "zeroing in" on an edit made an unknown amount of time ago -- i.e., "Who added this terrible sentence?" The current behavior goes something like this: look at a diff between rev 300 and 500 -- the sentence is there -- check rev 400 and 500 -- it's there -- 450 and 500 -- it's not there -- so you start narrowing down between 400 and 450. Going back and forth between the history and diff is a huge pain.
Current prototype (Niharika, Oct 2015).
- Discoverability -- how do we communicate that these are revisions, on a timeline?
- Current prototype only shows the most recent 50 edits -- how do we give access to the revs on a page with thousands of edits? (Especially given the "zeroing in" use case, where you're starting with a broad number of edits and narrowing down.)
- Things to communicate for each rev: Date/time, username, edit summary, size of revision, section?
- Reload the diff when the user moves one knob, or clicking a "Go" button?
- Use revision numbers as a navigation tool -- the endpoints of the timeline show that you're currently looking at edits 150-250. You could enter numbers rather than dragging the knob.
- One knob vs two knobs -- When you enter the diff page by clicking on a single diff link, show one knob that you can move around on the slider. You can add a second knob with a checkbox -- see Wordpress examples -- allowing you to see the diff across more than one revision. (If you've already selected a diff showing more than one revision from the history page, then do the opposite.)
- Show the size of an edit (positive or negative characters) as vertical bars above and below the timeline, to help the user find larger edits, which are helpful data points to use when you're zeroing in. Or use green/red for positive and negative character count.
- For section edits -- show the section, possibly with colors and a legend. (Yellow is "Career", Blue is "Personal life". So if you're looking for a change made to Career, the color helps you zero in on those changes.) Possible downside: Section headings change, and sometimes disappear.
- Arrows on each end to open the previous/next 100 edits. Clickable icon at each end to go the first/last edit.
- When you click on the left arrow -- do the knobs automatically move to that set of revs? (You're currently comparing revs 340 & 350, on a slider showing 300-400. When you move the slider to 200-300, do your knobs stay on 340 & 350 until you move them?)
- Alternative to arrows: a horizontal scroll bar under the timeline that allows you to browse through the entire edit history, without reloading. (You're currently comparing revs 340 & 350, on a slider showing 300-400. Use the scroll bar to scroll back to 100-200, then click on the timeline to move the knobs?) Another option: the timeline itself scrolls, and you can drag a knob from 300 back to 100. See Wikihistory example.
- A secondary "zoom in" timeline that appears if you're looking at a section of the timeline that's got too many revs to fit on the window. YouTube has an example? (Danny didn't follow this part very well. :))