Something struck me today while I was making a tiny edit to a page here. I've always thought WayBackMode was a good thing; show infinite revisions. Then I stopped and thought about what I was doing (it happened to be correcting one letter of a paragraph). Was that edit really worth the overhead of a delta?
Then I got to thinking a little more about the harm an infinite stream of deltas could be to a changing document. I know I've said things that were useless and/or inflammatory, and if they were still around instead of having been long discarded, the page would have lost a little bit of value. By contrast, with QuickDiff only keeping one person's changes, we still have the ability to repair damage; but we also achieve a sort of irreversible growth, ensuring that we won't return to the lesser version of the page.
-- MattBehrens, being introspective
SunirShah, on KeptPages, suggests a good compromise between the need to protect a wiki from short-term harm and the need to be in the PerpetualNow. His idea is to retain all versions of a page for the past week, or one prior version (whichever is greater). This allows all changes to be given a week's worth of scrutiny (providing stronger protection than EditCopy).
Moved from LimitedHindsight
LimitedHindSight? is a form of wiki which sets a middle ground between WikiWiki (with no HindSight?) and CvWiki (with WayBackMode). In effect, it limits (by revisions or by time) the number of previous versions of a page which are kept around (for public viewing, anyway). (TaralDragon)
I want to use CVS version control on project documentation stored in wiki format, but I admit the value of forgetfulness. One compromise might be to forget everything which is not tagged as being at a point, possibly on a branch, that you may need to recover to.
Heck, even in source code managed using a version control tool like CVS, forgetfulness can be good: