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Re: Re: UNDO and Mathematica - how useless is it?

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  • Subject: [mg98417] Re: [mg98357] Re: UNDO and Mathematica - how useless is it?
  • From: DrMajorBob <btreat1 at>
  • Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2009 05:55:41 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <>
  • Reply-to: drmajorbob at

The best advice I can givi is "save early and often"... but I admit that's  
not a replacement for Undo.

I've gotten used to the situation, as most of us have, but Meitnik still  
has a point.


On Wed, 08 Apr 2009 01:48:55 -0500, meitnik <meitnik at> wrote:

> An open letter to WRI, struggling with undo.
> I am a disabled user (but am creative and intelligent) and a
> prospective Home Edition buyer (I have finally got the funds in place
> today). I *need* an Undo that really works. I make lots of typing
> errors and yes logical errors too. Besides, being creative and
> learning is making big and small mistakes and rethinking ones
> direction. Forgiving software was part of the tech paradigm shift in
> the 80s and 90s. Did WRI miss that while mastering CA patterns? While
> learning Mathematica using a trial version, I already lost time/code
> and become frustrated several times dealing with undo (sometimes it
> sorta works sometimes its just stupid). Why make it so hard to undo?
> Does not your QA fight for a real undo? Does not marketing understand
> undo is a key selling feature? Perhaps for many all the power of
> Mathematica alone compensates for its limited undo.
> I have owned hundreds of software apps, beta-tested just as many over
> my 30 years. I have never seen software that just fails so badly at
> understanding undo. Perhaps a tutorial on how to deal with undo is
> wanting, does one already exist?. At least document well how undo
> works now. Offer tips and tricks how to manage mistakes/errors in
> one's work other than the brute force of save as and duplicating
> cells. Finally,  As a Mac user, undo is one of the prime directives of
> OS X gui guidelines. WRI, don't you like having and using a real undo
> for all your Mac apps (and later for Windows too). Yes, doing a real
> undo is hard, but it is worth it and shows real respect to your users
> both new and old. Come on guys, you are all smart enough!
> If you are wanting to make the Home Edition market succeed, than you
> need a reasonable undo working shortly in 3-5 months, not 2 years
> later. I do not need to buy now Home Edition but I really want it now
> but at the cost of dealing with unpleasant software? I value my time
> and efforts, and yes undoing mistakes. Important features matter to
> overall productivity and a sense of polish -- undo is one of them. You
> want a sale, I want software that works as expected. I can wait it
> out, for I waited 20 years for Mathematica to be within my reach at
> age 50. A few more months or years is ok with me. I can set aside
> those funds for another day. Maybe a formal petition is needed for a
> proper undo??
> If I have erred in my reasoning or understanding how undo currently
> works, please educate me to be a better productive user of
> Mathematica. I am willing to learn from my mistakes. Forgiveness in
> people or software is cool.
> Thank you for enduring my rant. I am off to soak my painful fingers
> now...

DrMajorBob at

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