Flashbake is about helping writers use Git version control to archive the evolution of their work. This can include the initial creation of the work, edits to the work, as well as metadata surrounding the writing process.
The metadata is configurable and pulls in information from the user's lifelog such as recent social media posts, blog posts, music listening, current weather, location, and more. It then commits that metadata and textual changes to an archive at set intervals.
As Cory Doctorow describes it Flashbake is about recording, "Where am I, what’s it like there, and what am I thinking about?”
Flashbake first rolled out in 2009 as a result of discussions between Cory Doctorow and Thomas Gideon. Cory was looking for a way to reintroduce the trail of edits, notes, annotations, and so on that grow out of writing by hand or typewriter; this collection of material automatically records how a piece of writing develops and can be a boon to historians, archivists, as well as the writers themselves.
With computers that natural archive disappears since writers are often using a single file or set of files that are constantly being edited. Version histories built into most text editing programs aren't up to solving this problem, nor are automated backup services.
Source control, however, is an excellent tool for archiving incremental changes, but most tools expect the author to manually commit their changes along the way. Flashbake takes these two notions and combines the convenience of automated backup with the power of source version control.
If you'd like to contribute to Flashbake by helping with code or documentation, check out our contributor's guide.
Cory Doctorow's initial blog post about the inspiration for Flashbake.
Thomas Gideon's initial blog post about developing Flashbake.