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Subversion Elements or Attributes for StratML?

From: Owen Ambur <Owen.Ambur_at_verizon.net>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 10:52:42 -0400

Dan, I checked out http://svnbook.red-bean.com/en/1.4/svn-book.html and I
see the references to XML. However, I do not yet know enough about
Subversion to understand whether it may specify XML elements &/or attributes
that we might apply for version control at the element level in Strategy
Markup Language (StratML) instance documents.
http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm &

(One of the prospective benefits of StratML is to enable the updating of
individual elements within strategic plans, such as goal and objective
statements, without requiring re-clearance of the entire plan through
bureaucratic channels.)

I also see the list of contributors at
http://svn.collab.net/repos/svn/trunk/COMMITTERS and I am copying
dev_at_subversion.tigris.org in the event that you or someone at that address
might be able to enlighten me.

Owen Ambur
Co-Chair Emeritus, xmlCoP http://xml.gov/
Co-Chair, AIIM StratML Committee http://www.aiim.org/standards.asp?ID=34121
& http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm
Member, AIIM iECM Committee http://www.aiim.org/standards.asp?ID=29284
Member, FIRM Board http://mysite.verizon.net/ambur/firmbod.html
Former Project Manager, ET.gov http://et.gov/

-----Original Message-----
From: sdmail-bounces_at_lists.systemdynamics.org
[mailto:sdmail-bounces_at_lists.systemdynamics.org] On Behalf Of SDMAIL Dan
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2008 7:23 AM
To: System Dynamics Mailing List
Cc: System Dynamics Mailing List
Subject: REPLY Who wants to share models (SD6890)

Posted by Dan Goldner <dan_at_ventanasystems.com>

SDMAIL Tom Fiddaman wrote:
> Right. One could certainly use a wiki for collaborative model building
> as well (e.g., to keep a running discussion, documentation, and file
> links), but I'm sure better tools could be found. Probably the
> combination of a code management system and a forum would be better (as
> most sourceforge projects have). I'll try to get a colleague to share
> some experience using subversion (SVN) with Vensim text .mdl format
> models. That lets users keep models coordinated and review past changes
> (including who made them).

Tom mentioned Subversion, a version control system (subversion.org, or
svnbook.red-bean.com for an introduction). This is more on the topic of
how to collaborate on creating models than on sharing & cataloguing
existing models.

Subversion keeps a history of changes to a model and allows multiple
people to edit it, alerting them when conflicts have occured. My
experiments with it have been very successful, though not without

The main benefit has been that multiple people can work on a model in
parallel, and no previous revisions are ever lost. That is, Tom may make
excellent changes in revision 326 that I carelessly destroy in revision
327, but we can always revert to or copy & paste from rev. 326 to fix
the error.

The headaches come from the fact that the system is designed to monitor
changes to lines of programming code. This means if I do something I
don't think of as "changing the model" such as nudge a sketch element to
the left, or close the model with a different variable in the workbench,
or put carriage returns in equation right-hand-sides for readability,
subversion considers those to be changes. With practice though these
become easy to avoid or manage when they occur.

Subversion does not do anything to help coordinate who is doing what.
For that conversation you need either a wiki (see Tom's post) or an
issue tracker (e.g. Trac - trac.edgewall.org) or an e-mail list like
this one or regular meetings or something.

Karl Fogel has written excellent guide to managing collaboration among a
disperse group at producingoss.com. It's focused on open source but the
techniques are useful for any group.

 -You need a server to use Subversion, but if you don't have one, an
excellent hosted service for Subversion and Trac is available for
$7/month from hosted-projects.com.

 -Lots of Windows users like to use tortoisesvn as an interface to
subversion: tortoisesvn.tigris.org. Like subversion and trac,
tortoisesvn is free.

Posted by Dan Goldner <dan_at_ventanasystems.com>
posting date Wed, 09 Apr 2008 08:55:41 -0700

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