Versioning the Web

Andy Kirby, Paul Rayson, Tom Rodden, Ian Sommerville and Alan Dix

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Full reference:

A. Dix, T. Rodden and I. Sommerville (1997).
Modelling Versions in Collaborative Work. (in press) IEE Proceedings in Software Engineering.


Currently the display of web pages centres upon the presentation of a single instance of each page. As the web evolves to become a long-term information store (e.g. with the increasing use of Intranets), there will be a need to provide mechanisms to manage versions of web pages. Users must be able to access predictable information (e.g. the last version which they accessed) and be able to know what page versions are available and the attributes of these versions. This is a report of some initial work in this area where we have explored some of the issues of versioning the web. We have devised a simple system which allows single web pages to be converted to a version set in a transparent way (i.e. all links continue to work). This system (V-Web) maintains and provides public and private access to a set of versions for web pages and includes facilities for both page readers and page authors.

Alan Dix 7/7/97