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Imagine Excel with a complete audit trail of all keystrokes and spreadsheet interactions. Quite a few problems would be solved.

Many firms have absolutely gargantuan spreadsheets and workbooks.

I suspect that individual files would become humongous with those features added.

If you store the commands from the beginning, you can recreate the state at any point in time.

Space gets cheaper every day.

The idea does have merit. On the average case it should be able to work.

A few things may be an issue with implementation, one of which would be excel macros. As it stands excel undo cannot regress past the last use of a macro. I suspect a state list may encounter a similar roadblock.

As it stands excel can be very very slow on large sets of data. On a sufficiently complex and clean model, I've seen load times and computer slow downs which begin to make Tokyo traffic seem mild, if it doesn't just hang.

This would make it easier to blame the person who "made the mistake" of mistyping something in a spreadsheet that is error-prone by nature and used in a process without QA. Exactly what problem would that solve?

It's a foot in the door toward QA and detection of common mistakes.

Google docs spreadsheets _almost_ have that - it keeps a history but its hard to do a diff with previous versions

It doesn't keep nearly enough history for even basic usage.

You have to click the "Show more detailed revisions" button.

Still does not prevent revision pruning. For personal use, this is very rarely a problem. For anybody with Google Apps for Education or Business, it's a pretty frequent issue with (AFAIK) no real or good solution:


As I understand it, Hypernumbers (the cloud spreadsheet) offers this.

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