I put my thing down, flip it and reverse it
November 6, 2014 10:27 AM Subscribe
If you've ever typed anything into a Google Doc, you can now play it back as if it were a movie — like traveling through time to look over your own shoulder as you write.James Somers (previously) introduces Draftback.
This is possible because every document written in Google Docs since about May 2010 has a revision history that tracks every change, by every user, with timestamps accurate to the microsecond; these histories are available to anyone with "Edit" permissions; and I have written a piece of software that can find, decode, and rebuild the history for any given document.
Engadget: Draftback finds the hidden history of your Google doc epics
Imagine your favorite writer, and visualize how well there arguments and suggestions and ideas flow together. Got it? The fruits of their talent are what ultimately wind up on the page, but all the agony and frustration that goes into each of those gems is lost to the sands of time. Until now, anyway.Draftback is the latest in a series of similar Google Doc programming projects, including Etherpad (previously, previouslier) and Somers' own Jimbopad.
Just keep this in mind as you start playing around with it: Draftback is more a passion project than it is a polished product, don't be surprised to stumble across a few hiccups. They're not too numerous now (the neat analytical graphs that highlight when and where changes were made don't seem to work), but its core seems to work as well as us word nerds would like. Well, for now.
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