Proposal:Video-format presentation of article history

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A simple-to-use tool to generate a video presentation of the history of a wiki page.


For the most effective presentation of changes to a wiki page over a period of time, a tool be developed that processes the page revision history, or a specified range of versions in the history. The output is a time-lapse type video where significant changes are visually highlighted.

Within the output video significant changes are shown in a manner similar to the following outline:

  • The starting version of the wiki page is shown
  • The displayed wiki page text scrolls to the most significant change between the currently displayed version and the next
  • The displayed wiki page is updated with the significant changes; these changes are highlighted, say in red
  • The highlighting fades, and the new version is displayed without highlighting
  • The above process is repeated until all versions selected by the user have been processed
  • The insertion and removal of images and other media should be shown in a similar way

Significant changes should be user-definable

  • A significant change may include more than one revision from the page history
  • It should be possible to exclude vandalism
    • Where such is clearly identifiable through a following reversion in the history
    • Where a short-lived edit war includes repeated reversions
  • The tool should have support for Flagged revisions
    • It should be possible to exclude unreviewed revisions
  • It should be possible to exclude changes, or parts of changes, that link to now-deleted media content
  • In addition to being able to exclude changes marked as minor, when identifying significant changes criteria such as number of characters added or removed between versions should be user-definable

Playback speed should be controllable such that a selected range of revisions creates a video of a required duration


For Wikimania in 2008, I gave a presentation on Wikinews. I wanted to have a visual presentation of the evolution of one of the project's most frequently edited articles - coverage of the London underground bombings; the article had a very large number of contributors, and significant Original Reporting content, including on-the-scene photographs.

In any presentation of a wiki's content evolution this would be a very valuable tool.

Example: An election campaign. Create videos of the changes to party or candidate articles during the election.

Key Questions

Potential Costs

  • Unknown
  • implemention suggestion : usage of standard diff tools and putting the changes in a standard source code repository. Many tools have the ability to show changes. These tools could be modified to emit screenshots to create videos. Mdupont 16:50, 10 October 2009 (UTC)


Community Discussion

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