Explore the Undo/Redo – Part I

Imagine preparing your project report in MS Word without having to use Ctrl Z/Y. You will bulb for sure, its going to be very very painful.

That’s the power of Undo/Redo. We take it for granted in any standard, user-friendly software.

  • It acts as a Saviour, during the times of distress
  • It makes the learning process like a ride on a Highway.
  • It allows the users to explore the software with a confidence that he can always recover easily from the mistakes, during the learning process.

Q. But why does a computer application need the Undo/Redo functionality, when the underlying piece of code will never ever go wrong it its output. You run the same operation 1000 times with the same inputs you are guaranteed to get the same output every time?

Ans. The Undo/Redo is meant for the User and not the application itself. Yes the computer program never makes a mistake but humans do. They are by default error prone.

What the designed applications treats as an invalid input for an operation might be a perfectly valid input from the users side.

The role of Undo/Redo comes into picture when an error(s) is made and the user realises it and express a strong intent to recover from the mistake(s) made.

The application must always assume that the user is always right.

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1 comment so far

  1. Kevin on

    It allows the users to explore the software with a confidence that he can always recover easily from the mistakes, during the learning process.

    This is the most important point for me. We use this feature innumerable times just to move in different directions during programming and see where we reach. If it does not work out we can always undo the changes. Very useful during the initial stages when we are not sure about the design.


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