|This is an advanced topic. If you are new to AsciiDoc you should skip this section until you have practiced and gotten better at AsciiDoc.|
|If you decide not to use version control, you can also gain a backup by using Dropbox. Because your AsciiDoc files are plain text, they take up very little space. If you lose your computer and have to start over, you can go to Dropbox and synch your files and be on your way with little disruption.|
Version control apps record changes to your book files over time so that you can go back to to earlier versions if needed. These apps let you easily store versions of your work as it changes.
Version control can work on images too.
For me the biggest feature about version control is the ability to compare changes over time from version A to version B to let me see what has changed in my book over time as I write it.
Because most version control apps were designed to tracking code, which has one commands per line, the version differences are tracked one line at a time in your book AsciiDoc plain text.
Dan Allen, the person who brought us the AsciiDoctor app, recommends that we write one sentence per line in the text editor, Atom (or your favorite), so the version control app can show how each sentence changed over time.
To do this, I set up my asciidoctor to combine each line into a paragraph. When I need a paragraph break, I add a blank line between two sentences.
Dan’s idea works fantastically and has helped me improve my writing as I input changes from reviewers and editors.
Version control tracks your complete change history over the life of your book project. This can help you see how your project evolved. It can also potentially help with copyright infringement legal proceedings because it can provide proof that you wrote the book.
If you’re collaborating with others to write a book, you can share version control like git (more on that later) and see who made a change that introduced a problem.
The free version control app I recommend is called git.
You can get it at https://git-scm.com.
Look for the downloads page at https://git-scm.com/downloads.