Version control to between copies of books and across networks

Coming out of a breakout session at the #openedtools meeting this week, I’d like to start (continue?) the discussion about useful version control between copies of books, both inside and outside a single instance of Pressbooks.

Use case: The U of Hawaii system has a [master] copy of a textbook in Pressbooks. We give multiple instructors their own copy of it to make modifications, updates, and to extend it with other tools. At the end of the semester, we want to compare the changes made between copies of the book as to capture the changes that would benefit most folks and roll them back into the [master] version.

How could this work between books in the same Pressbooks instance? Could this work between copies of the same book on entirely different Pressbooks networks? Is there a way to “listen” for changes in copies of your book elsewhere?

Can it be a situation where a ISSN is better than a ISBN?

Hi @wmeinke, this is a good conversation to get started. I know @brad has done some thinking about versioning… it’s an area that needs some focus and time, to be sure.

It could be but that doesn’t really address the ability to compare content.

Hi @wmeinke — guilty as charged. Would like to make some space for tackling this.


Well, I’m all ears if you have ideas.

It’s not a simple thing to fix, and in the eyes of many developers, Git/Github hasn’t fixed this entirely.

Content and code are indeed different animals.

@hughmcguire mentioned the possibility of using a tool like to signal changes to the canonical version of a book when it is stored in multiple places. This somewhat gets at what I’d like to see possible.

Maybe i don´t understand the problem, but what if we could to use the control of changes of the post. Each time a new version is save it, send data to the child pages. Then, the owner of the child page decide if to update or not.

Maybe a more simple approach is to split in some way the page in different sections.

Looks like we are not the only people with the same problem.

Maybe if we allow to have different layouts, where each layout is one topic (or the explanation of one question or rule or …), we can later compare wich is the best explanation for each topic, not wich is the best page, because maye we have different rules in one page and we whant to allow to integrate in our page content from different teachers.
Also is a good way to have different metadata (rich snipets) in each section of the page.

I beliee all start with the property bookEdition of the Type Book and all the metadata of Books.

First we need to track the information related to the book. And later, to use the Wordpress API for to show content from one book in another.

To compare from one book and other, must be not too copmlicate if we can use the control of changes for something like that where we have always just two editions in the control of changes. The orignal one and the one change by us.

The only problem I can see, is now we can use or not to use the full post. It will be much better if we can split and to use sections.

I´m from time ago thinking about a more modular approach.

To create tiny posts and to join them with the loop or to create blocks inside of the posts or to use the post for the introduction and the coments for the content…

the idea is to be able to link one post from our site, to edit a section and to use the rest of the original content of the posts, allowing the post to receibe updates any time the authors write it…

I´m thinking how to fix that.