Deep diffs: visually exploring the history of a document

R Shannon, AJ Quigley, Patrick Nixon

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Software tools are used to compare multiple versions of a textual document to help a reader understand the evolution of that document over time. These tools generally support the comparison of only two versions of a document, requiring multiple comparisons to be made to derive a full history of the document across multiple versions. We present Deep Diffs, a novel visualisation technique that exposes the multiple layers of history of a document at once, directly in the text, highlighting areas that have changed over multiple successive versions, and drawing attention to passages that are new, potentially unpolished or contentious. These composite views facilitate the writing and editing process by assisting memory and encouraging the analysis of collaboratively-authored documents. We describe how this technique effectively supports common text editing tasks and heightens participants’ understanding of the process in collaborative editing scenarios like wiki editing and paper writing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-0076-6
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2010
    EventAVI '10 Proceedings of the International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces - Roma, Italy
    Duration: 1 Jan 2010 → …


    ConferenceAVI '10 Proceedings of the International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces
    Period1/01/10 → …


    • Text visualization
    • temporal visualization
    • wiki
    • versions
    • collaborative writing
    • editing
    • diffing
    • undo
    • history
    • Wikipedia


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