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Automatically updated Page revision date
#1
Hi, i saw a cool feature in other web and that reminded me a thing i wanted for OA website. Especially the EG.
When i travel through the EG. At the bottom of the screen is the credit of the page. Something like: "Text by M. Alan Kazlev. Initially published on 01 May 2003. ".
And i wonder if this page (or other page) was revised later, and when. Maybe was revised by other people and currently the main text is by other.

So i thought we could make something with more info.
And a days ago i saw something. I'm going to post a cropped image.

This image says: Page revision 3. Last edited 8 dec 2014 02:22.
I think this is an automatic timestamp. And maybe not so difficult to program.
It will be useful to uncover pages that are not updated and pages that are updated.


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Quote: "Nature considers all the variables".
Quote: "the object and the theory are distinct things"
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#2
Actually, we do try to document when a page is updated. An example of this can be found on the Technocalypse page.

We don't do that large of an update to most pages, so generally speaking if there is no indication of an update, that probably means none has been done. At least nothing major.

Regardless, I'm inclined to handle this issue via policy rather than technology, since doing so would let us implement or adjust whatever we might do in this area much faster. However, I'm also going to defer to Steve on this since he's our Chief Editor for the website.

Steve, what are your thoughts on this? Do we have a consistent methodology around updates and if not, should we seek to develop one?

Thanks!

Todd
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#3
At the editing end we can see when it was last changed, and we can even see which editor it was who did it. It says 'last modified'. So the data exist. How useful they are is another matter. Each and every one of the pages has been edited multiple times since its creation. Spelling and grammar, typography, dates changed for consistency with other articles, small changes in choice of words, adding more links, and so on all change the 'last modified' date. For instance, a couple of years ago I went through the entire site and corrected all the article creation dates themselves, since in the transfer they'd all defaulted to the transfer date of 2007. Also for instance Steve has made a long term project of making the whole project more image-rich, and each time he's added a picture that has changed the 'last modified' date too. Out of curiosity I just did a random walk through articles as seen at the editing end. Most had been touched some time in the last 2 years, and none was 'older' than 2010. I imagine that it would be just a matter of asking our webmaster Trond to put a 'last edited' item in the material at the end of the article if that's what we want. Do we think this information would be useful to the general reader though?

General editorial policy has been that when actual changes to content occur, then for minor changes it's in the 'additional material by' line, or if it's a more wholesale revision we document it as a collaboration. In the last few years we've flagged major article revisions with the date of revision as well. 

For what it's worth I'm neutral on whether we want to display the 'last modified' data. I do think our current practice captures things pretty well, myself, but will defer to Steve Bowers in particular and to the rest of the Board in general. Steve, what do you think?
Stephen
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#4
The CMS does record when each page was last modified, so I would guess that it would be fairly trivial for Trond to display this date on the site. It would be quite nice to see this information. We could also identify who did the update, although that is less relevant when all you are doing is correcting a spelling mistake.
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#5
I talked with Trond recently and although he is very busy now and I will be away when he gets back, we are going to get together in early to mid-June to discuss next steps. I'm going to sticky this thread to keep it front of mind, and will ask him about it when we meet.

Thanks!

Todd
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#6
Hi, when are you going to meet Drashner? Big Grin
-----Signature-----------------------------------------------------
Quote: "Nature considers all the variables".
Quote: "the object and the theory are distinct things"
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#7
The exact date hasn't been determined yet. I am going on vacation starting this weekend and will be away for a week. So it definitely won't be until after that.

Todd
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