I am a software developer at heart and by trade, and spend a lot of time in development tools... One of the more useful development tool types is version control, and for the uninitiated, it works something like as follows:
- Create a file
- Start working on the file
- Check in the file (create a version 1 of it)
- Open the file and edit again
- Check in again (version 2)
- Realize you deleted something important from version 1, go back in time, get the thing you deleted...
Anyway, I am wondering if something similar is used with photos? Essentially, I was thinking something along the lines of:
- Import Photos (V1).
- Start tagging photos (V2... XMP side cars should only really change here).
- Start adding stars, more tags (V3)
- Start adjusting some settings (V4+)
With the flow above, you should be able track a lot more changes... and give you some sort of backup strategy...