Git for Writers
Some time ago I wrote about source control for blogging. I totally forgot I already wrote about it so I outlined and wrote a completely different article on the topic. I find it interesting that they come to the same problem from 2 different sides.
Git is a version control system, mostly used in programming, but other fields could benefit from it as well.
I use git for every single thing I write.
I find it to be a great tool to look at your edits and not to worry about cutting out too much because you know that you can always revert to a previous version of your article if something goes wrong or if you want to add something back.
It never happened for now, but just the peace of mind that it brings you is immense and you can cut your text to the barebone essential without fear of losing what you wrote.
The problem is that it’s not accessible at all to non programmers.
Even applications that promise to abstract git away don’t really do a good job at it. Mostly because they’ve been developed with programming in mind and not writing, so they expect the user to be somewhat familiar with how git works and its various commands.
There should be a tool to just commit a revision and than being able to go back to a specific revision, nothing more, nothing less. Apple has something similar, but I would like to be more generic and not only limited to Apple platforms under specific conditions.
The other problem is more related to knowledge. Writers and bloggers don’t know about it and why would they?
Google docs is a great solution to collaborate, but I still find it lackluster. You need to use the webapp for most of its features and that does not work without an internet connection. I [usually write without an internet connection] thought so for me it’s a big limitation to have. If you’re always online while writing though it might be a good solution for you if you’re not willing to use anything more custom.
A tool that doesn’t contain the name git anywhere. It just uses it under the hood to have a versioning system. Why using git though? Can’t it be just a normal versioning system?
Probably it can. But git is proven and it scales. You could even write a novel and have it versioned with it. It hs been designed to handle the scale of the Linux codebase. Unfortunately due to its technical nature most people will never be bothered to learn it nor use it and it’s a shame.