Proposal:Visualize revision history in a fancy way

From Strategic Planning
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Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

Edit this page to help identify the priorities related to this proposal!

  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation

This proposal sort-of implies Proposal:Extend_editors'_identity_creation. It is closely related to Proposal:Improve_transparency_of_article_status_and_the_editing_process.


There should be some easily accessible visualization of an article's revision tree (like a small box at the side). Users might have portrait pics that can be used to signify important contributions in the revision tree.


It's very important for readers to get an idea of article attributes like maturity, credibility, polarization, complexity of discussion and so on. This should be visible alongside the actual article. The visualization can be implemented in a small interactive applet that shows a stylized view of an article's revision history.

  • It could use editor's portrait pictures to signify important contributions, or User Relations to show ongoing debates or any other activity in regard of the article.
  • It could be warped to emphasize on the current state, recent changes, big edits, frequent changes and other significant events.
  • It could be interactively transformed by mouse-over, drag or click interactions and it could link to other information.
  • It should allow highlighting parts of the article that correspond to information shown in the revision applet


A high-level, interactive visual presentation of an article's status is the key to proper perception of its very inter-subjective and emergent nature, as well as many other attributes. Improving this could lead to a better understanding of the way the wiki actually works and also to an easier and more to-the-point addressing of issues.

Key Questions

  • How can the (often huge) revision history be sensibly visualized in, say, a 2x4 cm box?
    • By drawing only parts of it
    • By warping it in 3D
    • Clustering
    • Zooming
  • What platform should be used to implement this portably?
  • What machines should it work on?

Potential Costs

  • Probably major programming effort for implementing the underlying data abstractions and the vis applet/plugin
  • Some creativity in UI design


This is related to:

It may help with:

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