[development] Requiring node revisions

David Strauss david at fourkitchens.com
Thu Jun 7 09:04:52 UTC 2007

Currently, there are two revision-control options when saving a node:

1. Overwrite the latest revision.
2. Create a new revision.

I think #1 has very little value.

Argument for allowing #1:
* Slightly smaller database size

Arguments for only allowing #2:
* Fewer site administration options
* Cleaner node-editing pages for node administrators
* Less confusion over what checking the box does: "Aren't I creating a
new revision of the node even if I don't check it?"
* Less node-saving code. Currently, many modules have to redirect new
revisions to the node creation code. We can dump hook_update if every
node save is a new revision. A module can still check if it's really a
new node if the module needs to do anything special.
* Better-tested node-saving code. I sometimes find modules that don't
work properly with revisions.
* Site administrators will have more options to recover from mistakes
without having to remember to check a box or configure every content
type to create new revisions by default.
* Using modules that automatically clean up old revisions can cap the
increase in database size.
* Files are shared across revisions, so there's little increase in disk
* There's no performance impact to keeping old revisions around. A JOIN
on {node_revisions} happens regardless of whether multiple revisions are
in use.
* Lots of users are accustomed to editing Wikipedia, so seeing a
revisions tab shouldn't be scary to new users of Drupal.
* Even if they don't know how to use the revisions tab, the site will
function exactly as if they didn't use revisions.

Even cheap shared hosts allow ridiculous amounts of space, so database
size isn't that important anymore. Unless there's a really compelling
argument for leaving #1 around, I'd like to create an issue to eliminate
the ability to save a node without creating a new revision in Drupal 6.

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