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To undo, or not to undo, that's the question

Posted 11 years ago
As most followers of online Mathematica fora will have noticed, one of the all-time hottest desired features of Mathematica is the Multiple Undo feature. While working in a notebook it is possible to irrecoverably lose all of your work with just a click and a few key presses. In a discussion I had with John Fultz during the 2011 WTC, John sketched the difficulty of returning to a previous executional state. However, while going back in state would be a very nice feature to have, this is much, much more than most users desire. I guess most of us would be very pleased if we could undo *manual* changes to *input cells only* for a reasonable number of steps, say 10. I know of many people who would be willing to give up all the goodies that v10 may bring if they only could get a simple text-based multiple undo.

The question is whether WRI is sufficiently aware of the wishes of its user community in this context and whether the apparent overstatement of the Undo functionality in terms of execution state may stand in the way of the implementation of a much simpler version that would satisfy the basic needs?
POSTED BY: Sjoerd de Vries
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Many people are probably aware of this, but for those who aren't, checkout this Community thread where I posted a followup on this issue.

POSTED BY: John Fultz
Posted 11 years ago
I'm relatively new to Mathematica, and whilst I am in awe of its fundamental mathematical capabilities, the lack of front end support for multiple levels of undo is an equally aweful oversight. If I, as a relative beginner, am already so frustrated that I should even contemplate learning the front end implementation in depth just so I could implement an undo feature myself, you may imagine just how important to me this omission is. Yes, I have already found and signed the petition but further comment is still warranted.

I come from a business and IT background, and have worked on complex turnkey systems and major software developments, so I do appreciate that if it has not been done already, Wolfram have reasons for not doing it. What seems to be missing is a detailed capability and impact analysis that users could review and contribute to in order to define the scope of undo/redo that would satisfy most with least effort and risk for Wolfram,

Since I have had to think about the issue of undo/redo and history management generally in other contexts, I recognise that it is not trivial, but neither do I think that multiple undo/redo in input cells should present particularly great difficulties. I am sure that more experienced users could make valuable contributions if there was a suitable public discussion.

As a side commnet on front end weakness, the global scope of "Replace All" in "Find and Replace" is a disaster that has already heppened to many it seems. Surely "Repalce All in Selection" could be added!
POSTED BY: Julian Moore
Posted 11 years ago
Count me in for a bare-bones multi-undo, hopefully  by version 10.0.1

I can happily wait until version 25 for the full blown implementation emoticon
Often I had that stomach churning sensation, having realized that I acidentally deleter or replaced something - and no way to get it back.  
The stomach is not involved. Interesting things are in the private SVN. Then there is a working directory and a copy directory for meaningful notebooks. That gives some old fashioned fall back security. Duplicating cells (original cell and working cell) in a notebook is poor man´s solution. Mathematica punishes the evangelists of happy flow like many other instances on earth do. IMHO an even humble undo would be far more useful than this infamous incredible suggestion bar.
POSTED BY: Udo Krause
This is a feature that I have begged for many times - In training I tell users that they have at most one level of undo - if they are very lucky :-)
Often I had that stomach churning sensation, having realized that I acidentally deleter or replaced something - and no way to get it back.  So I am now compulsively saving and renaming notebooks when developing.  Version 10 perhaps?
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POSTED BY: Clemens Dempers
It speaks to the power of Mathematica that so many users tolerate the lack of an UNDO command.  What other companies could get away with "I know all of our users want it, but it's too hard" after 9 versions?
Some more WS: Stand, und Undo yourself! There is also this:   (no need to mention but: yes, please!)
POSTED BY: Yves Klett
Completely agree, just text Undo would be great.
Here is the Stack Echange post relatad to Undo. A very popular one.
POSTED BY: Rodrigo Murta
Posted 11 years ago
Need I concur?  Have experienced loss of data myself in the past, so sure, I concur.
Agreed, input-text-undo would be terrific and needed.
POSTED BY: Sander Huisman
Yes, I believe having "undo" for just input and text cells would generally suffice.
POSTED BY: Michael Sollami
Very interested in this feature, especially when it comes to using Mathematica with high school students who have no conception that a program might not include undo functionality.
POSTED BY: Nick James
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