I am peer-reviewing a dispute in authorship order between two parties in our research group for a co-authored manuscript.
I suggested them to use the excellent
latexdiff.pl to compare their individual separate drafts against the final manuscript to be submitted. Sure enough, there are highlighting and change-bars in the text as per the desired style and this works great.
But I am partially colour-blind and my eyes take a bit of stress to look at a document full of colours in the text (63 double-column pages in the manuscript for a very theoretical work). Even though the manual says "red" and "blue" as default, I still have an overall problem with colours, especially in body-copy text. (A one-off splash of colour such as in headings or figures works absolutely fine though.)
For a high-level overview of who contributed what fraction of the text (we already know that the intellectual contribution is roughly equal and that the figure generation task was split evenly among the authors), it is really helpful if an accessible solution of some metric like "a boxed value indicating the percentage change on the margin notes for each paragraph". is available.
It is not only for the authorship of the paper, it is also for the correct inclusion of the section where they contributed the most to the explanation of a concept, for reuse in their respective theses (contribution being defined as a combination of text, equations and figures). In these sections, the other party will be acknowledged throughout the text as the helper and vice-versa in their respective theses. This will help both to steer clear of plagiarism accusations by the other in the future.
Obviously, I could ask for a feature enhacement to latexdiff.pl .But given the number of pending issues in that github repository and the time it might take to implement this, I wonder if someone here could help to hack together some rudimentary form of accessibility-friendly metric per paragraph given two files
new.tex? Any pdftex or luatex solution will be much appreciated.
I think this could benefit the community as a whole, even non colour-blind people. A quick overview of changes between two documents can help, e.g. 1) a PhD supervisor looking through changes between drafts of a student, 2) even for those using version control systems can benefit (git and other unix diff tools use typically line-based diffs and don't do very well in prose contexts. Even if using the --color-words option, they are all source-based (and well, colour!)). Nothing simple exists on the typeset document side of things.
PS: I know there are other non-colourful styles possible in the output of
latexdiff. But the word-by-word presentation is too dense, filling the whole document with meta-information and footnotes to the point of being unreadable. I am looking for something more simplistic, i.e. a single metric. This will help me to focus on those paragraphs with the highest number of changes and judge the merit of those changes and seems to be a better strategy from a time-effectiveness perspective.
PS: I just noticed the announcement on the TeX community's accessibility workshop on 20/July/2018 - the next day of this question being posted. What a coincidence!