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At the risk of being too nerdy for words here, software authors face a similar problem as programs are usually broken up into parts (modules, chapters, the essential problem is the same). The most recent flavor of software for managing large pieces is called CVS, or Concurrent Versions System. In a nutshell, it manages small parts -- including backups, coordinating changing versions, etc. -- without the human having to worry about tracking all the little pieces. The net effect is that while everything is in little pieces, to the human it can be either in small pieces or as a whole.
Have heard tell that Lotus did something similar for business types working concurrently on the same document. That might have been exclusively a "groupware" kind of thang, instead of a "managing many small parts of a big whole" kinda thang.
Maybe more geeky than folks here care to bother with. Offering it just in case someone can use an existing wheel.....
I'm InLivingColor
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