Multiple UNDO - a simple proposal
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg77803] Multiple UNDO - a simple proposal
- From: David Bailey <dave at Remove_Thisdbailey.co.uk>
- Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2007 06:04:22 -0400 (EDT)
Much has been written about the complexity involved in implementing
multiple undo in a Mathematica notebook.
Obviously a notebook can receive changes from several sources - the user
typing, and various forms of data emanating from the kernel. However,
99% of the time, the user is concerned with recovering his input cells
that he may have spent hours crafting. Computers are so stable nowadays,
and multiple undo is so effective in most applications, that many users
no longer think in terms of saving their work regularly. In past
versions of Mathematica, any crashes were pretty much confined to the
kernel, but with 6.0 it seems to be easier to crash the FE - and with
it, any unsaved work!
Why not compromise and say that no cell will have an undo chain if it:
1) Contains Dynamic constructs.
2) Is an Output cell.
3) Contains any other specified features that WRI find cause problems.
Undo points will only be placed at points where the kernel is at idle.
As an additional simplification, possibly the user would have to choose
between the multiple undo feature and the freedom to continue typing
while the kernel is executing a command.
I would suggest that the undo information should be buffered on disk at
frequent intervals so that an FE crash would be less disastrous. I
suspect that the occasional FE crash is an inevitable consequence of the
very dynamic coupling between kernel and FE that now pertains. Indeed,
it was one such crash that prompted me to write this post!
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