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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • It's not something I thought about until one of our R&D engineers mentioned the idea of a "universal undo". For example at the site I work at, we build medical infusion pumps - one end has drugs in a syringe the other end has you. Death by decimal, as it's called is a serious issue and the R&D types take it very seriously. For example if you switch our pumps off it doesn't actually switch off or say "Are you sure?" is starts a count down which the user needs to keep hold of the off button or it carries on.

    We had a long discussion about the whole idea, for example imagine a word processor with no save button. You open the document make some changes (all with undo) and the close the document. It never asks you to save the document it just does it, you can undo any event - even out of sequence and it just works.

    A question should only come up by exception, for example "Please type: Yes really destroy my system" or some such on a really drastic rare command.

    -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
    • Killing the patient is the one thing you can't undo.

      As for universal undo, I've seen elements of this. VMS' versioned filesystem (every time you write to a file it saves a new copy). Smalltalk's everything-is-an-object gives you interesting opportunities for universal undo like a paint program where every brush stroke is stored as a separate object that can be manipulated after the fact. No having to plan out your layers before hand. Emacs' obscenely large kill buffer is another, other apps have that as

      • Killing people is bad, our sales don't do well at all if that happens. Ironically the marketing droids boast about how complex our proprietary software is, when in fact that's probably not something that is not a good feature - thankfully the software is actually quite simple and there is less to go wrong which is actually not bad at all. Obviously we do make it better every release...

        Continuous Data Protection is a trendy form of backup - every change to the filesystem is logged and can be rolled back. Sup

        -- "It's not magic, it's work..."