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Aug 23, 2019 21:24:51

Git for Writers

by @valentino | 458 words | 🐣 | 276💌

Valentino Urbano

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Total posts: 276💌
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# 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

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.

# Solution

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.


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    @valentino this sounds like a great idea. You can abstract all the git terminology into terms non-programmers will understand like commit = save etc.

    Keenen Charles avatar Keenen Charles | Aug 23, 2019 22:05:53
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    @valentino

    Why do I feel like this is a billion dollar idea?

    I'm so shocked nobody has built it, I just did a "git for x" Google search and didn't find anything. Or do they know something I don't know?

    I also checked and found that git was written in multiple languages.
    Can git for writers be built on git. Just replace the IDE with a very good Word Processor. And it saves every a snapshot of every commit.

    Or can it be faked with another language? Please let me know your thoughts Valentino.

    Jason, please I'd love your input also @jasonleow.

    Seun Oyebode avatar Seun Oyebode | Aug 23, 2019 23:49:23
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      @seunoyebode I'm astonished as well tbh, maybe there is one already and we're just not aware of it...

      My idea of it is surely built on git and just extract the git part away, it is obviously still there and doing the heavy lifting, but it is transparent to the user. It can be faked, but why rebuilding the wheel when the one we have works so damn good and has been proven over and over again.

      Valentino Urbano avatar Valentino Urbano | Aug 24, 2019 11:41:02
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      @valentino @seunoyebode sounds like a great idea! I saw someone use it for writing, for a post that contains his principles and viewpoints of life. And because it can change over one's lifetime, the version control made perfect sense. Sounds like a opportunity here!

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Aug 24, 2019 21:09:42
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