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Computing Thoughts
Version Control is Undo
by Bruce Eckel
November 23, 2008
Perhaps we only commit big chunks at a time as an artifact of older version control systems. What if we treated it as a full-fledged undo facility?


Imagine if everything you did was undoable all the time, similar to what the Macintosh time machine produces -- it's just keeping track of everything in the background and if you need to change something you just back up.

Right now we have to make decisions about what and when we commit. But what if you didn't have to?

Also, if everything was being tracked, as in an undo facility, you could say things like "lets zero in on where the most activity was taking place during a certain time." This might even be able to detect patterns of behavior during programming.

Of course, such a facility would require very strong coupling between the editing environment and the cloud where the information was being kept.

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About the Blogger

Bruce Eckel ( provides development assistance in Python with user interfaces in Flex. He is the author of Thinking in Java (Prentice-Hall, 1998, 2nd Edition, 2000, 3rd Edition, 2003, 4th Edition, 2005), the Hands-On Java Seminar CD ROM (available on the Web site), Thinking in C++ (PH 1995; 2nd edition 2000, Volume 2 with Chuck Allison, 2003), C++ Inside & Out (Osborne/McGraw-Hill 1993), among others. He's given hundreds of presentations throughout the world, published over 150 articles in numerous magazines, was a founding member of the ANSI/ISO C++ committee and speaks regularly at conferences.

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2008 Bruce Eckel. All rights reserved.

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