Standard Change Tracking for XML

This paper explores the advantages of using a generic approach to representing tracked changes in XML and the benefits to having a standard XML solution. Refers to work done for OpenDocument (ODF) standards and W3C ‘Change’ Community Group.

A new XML standard for tracking change

XML is generally accepted as the default markup language for structured document and data management systems worldwide. But, in spite of the fact that XML document standards have matured over the past decade and despite its widespread use, XML still has a significant shortcoming that limits its usefulness in this role. It has no native ability to track changes.

A generic change-tracking standard would transform the utility of XML. It would allow documents to be moved from one XML editor to another, complete with change history and the ability to roll back to previous versions; it would allow editing applications to track changes in any XML document type; and software designed to handle change in XML could be applied to many different XML document types.

Read this conference paper to:

  • Review the various methods used to find and represent change within XML documents and data.
  • Explore the idea of what a change tracking standard could look like if implemented.
  • Review the various applications of different types of change in XML and how they’re managed, including changes made to attributes and elements.

There are several different ways of representing changes in XML. Although in general these are applied to the changes between two documents, some of them can be extended to show or represent changes between multiple documents, or multiple versions of the same document.

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