History of Version Control

When individuals began to work with many files that were all separately edited and complex, there became an instant demand for a way to monitor changes in these files over time. People have developed rules and systems for the organization and storage of many versions of a work. The evolution of a project has become as important as its content.

From Stone Age to digital and back

Currently, many designers are forcing themselves to manually save versions of a project and maintain its chronological orientation. There tends to be a large number of nearly identical versions of a project that are flocked locally, because it is necessary to have access to these changes over time. Further, if multiple collaborators are working on file, it is not uncommon for some changes to be unintentionally deleted. This manual method of maintaining organization and a file history is prone to many problems and warrants the transfer of the task of creating such version histories to a computer.

A simpler control system is one that functions as a central vault. It stores all versions and allows users to work with local copies independently. Once changes are made, a new version is instantly replaced into the vault. This method is more reliable than the traditional manual method. However, a central vault is highly vulnerable to data loss, since all files are kept in one destination.

In a more advanced system, users do not simply download a local version to work with. Rather they copy all the changes on a given file. Even if the storage through which the work was initially maintained is unavailable, members of the team will restore the project from their own copy. In such a system, users have the ability to operate independently of one another on a specific part of a project. Each project is like a tree with many branches. The trunk represents the common history of the project, while the branches represent distinct parts of a project. While a user edits their designated branch, none of the other branches are affected. This partitioning of a project maintains fluid teamwork and ensures the safety of data.

Everything for people

Developers were the first to introduce a version control system for their work. Large corporations using this principle offer useful solutions to ordinary users. For example, Microsoft Word tracks changes in the text, and Google Docs maintains a history of each document.

Interaction interfaces are constantly being improved and simplified. Individuals must be able to maintain focus on their work and expend less energy on organizational duties. This is one of the main principles for the basis of the development of Plant.


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