⏱ Revision Tracker (en)

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Revision Tracker is an exten­sion pro­du­cing a detai­led his­tory of modi­fi­ca­tions of posts and/or pages on a WordPress web­site. You can check its ope­ra­tion by cli­cking link (which will open a new tag).

Since the code is tri­lin­gual, ins­truc­tions appear in the browser’s default lan­guage (English/French/Spanish).

Revision Tracker does not only dis­play the latest changes. If you find a button “«” at the top left of a com­pa­ri­son page, click it to search for ear­lier ver­sions. Ultimately you may see all changes that have been stored in the data­base.

Only changes occur­ring in texts are taken into account. The engine ignores text for­mat­ting, image contents and their cap­tions, as well as forms and imbed­ded scripts.

The fol­lo­wing default search para­me­ters are used :

  • Texts in pro­gress for the past … days selects the period of che­cking modi­fi­ca­tions. The higher this value, the more posts or pages will be scree­ned, and com­pu­ta­tion time will also increase. Default value is 20 days.
  • Changes over … hours is the time reso­lu­tion for com­pa­ring ver­sions. By default 12 hours. A lower value will dis­play more steps of modi­fi­ca­tions. Steps occur when the editor clicks the “Save” button of the WordPress editor.
  • Minimum mis­match bet­ween ver­sions … chars dis­cards ver­sions in which the chan­ged length versus the cur­rent ver­sion is less than this value. Setting this para­me­ter and the pre­ce­ding one to zero makes it pos­sible to screen all ver­sions. Default value is 50 cha­rac­ters.
  • Percentage of simi­la­rity bet­ween para­graphs is a para­me­ter for the ali­gn­ment of para­graphs on com­pa­ri­son pages. Default value of 70% looks fair.
  • Display all para­graph hea­ders makes it pos­sible to opt for a full dis­play of para­graph hea­ders (the­reby high­ligh­ting the loca­tion of a change) or for a com­pact dis­play (the one by default).

You can assign dif­ferent values to all these search para­me­ters. Fill the form at the bottom of the Modifications page and click button “SEARCH AGAIN WITH THESE SETTINGS”.

By default, WordPress stores all ver­sions of posts and pages in its data­base which ends up over­si­zed ! To avoid this disas­ter, I ins­tal­led the won­der­ful “Optimize Database” plugin allo­wing to fix the maxi­mum number of ver­sions or/and the time during which these shall be pre­ser­ved in the data­base. On this site the 30-day option is used.

Excerpt of the com­pa­ri­son page of two ver­sions (post “CoVID-19 : immu­nité, style de vie”)
Modified or moved para­graphs are dis­played on a yellow back­ground.
Only modi­fied para­graphs and their neigh­bours are dis­played.

History of a single page/post

On the right of each page/post a button “Historique de cette page” pro­duces a com­pa­ra­tive dis­play of all ver­sions of the page/post. You will be promp­ted to solve a small arith­me­tic pro­blem to get per­mis­sion… This is meant to dis­cou­rage robots from satu­ra­ting the site !

Try it :

In this pro­cess, ver­sions are com­pa­red over 12-hour ranges. By default, para­graph hea­ders are not dis­played unless they contain changes. To get a full dis­play click the ‘▼’ on top of the page. Clicking the ‘▲’ button will return to the mini­mum dis­play.

If you are an admin of the web­site, Revision Tracker will offer you the option of dele­ting revi­sions so that silly mis­takes will no longer appear in the his­tory.

More about this extension…

A few pages and posts are denied access to his­tory in order to meet pri­vacy issues.

Revision Tracker does not alter the content of the WordPress data­base excepts when it updates the content of page “Modifications récentes”. It stores its com­pa­ri­son files in a tem­po­rary folder that may be auto­ma­ti­cally dele­ted after 30 minutes of idling. In prac­tice you should click again after 30 minutes !

I desi­gned this exten­sion in April 2020 after unsuc­cess­fully loo­king for a plugin or a WordPress fea­ture that would high­light recent modi­fi­ca­tions and construct his­to­ries of ver­sions — much like Wikipedia. Sadly, most devices I have seen were only signa­ling recent post crea­tions. 🙁

Comparisons bet­ween texts are based on tricky string algo­rithms — my favo­rite play­ground during the past cen­tury ! 😀

Article créé le 13/04/2020 - modifié le 24/04/2020 à 09h27

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