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The History feature usage is not very obvious.

This is a simple thing: trying to find how to revert to a specific history version should be obvious, but it’s not:

  • It’s hidden in a separate menu that’s not obviously related (aside from that being how you get to History in the first place)
  • The last time you saw that menu, the relevant item wasn’t even there, so you think you’ve already ruled it out.
  • The Exit button seems like the only available candidate—but that’s not it, and you’re back to where you started from.

There are a lot of ways you could fix this, but something visible and local to the history, please.

I think I’ll finally remember how now, but I went through several iterations of confusion before it stuck.

It’s a great feature but I think the affordances could use some work - my biggest issue is that I tend to accidentally start editing previous history states and then lose the work

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Thanks for the feedback @BobKerns, @Job — we agree! I’ve updated a couple of internal tickets with these requests.

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Two ideas in this area:

I’ve often found myself wanting to quickly go through the shared versions in history, because they’re usually some kind of interesting points (new features, crushed bugs, and more stable than the states in between shares).

I’m very much missing some kind of annotation or labelling (like git commit messages), so that the history could be searchable and more meaningful than “Edited A / Edited A / Edited B…”.


One thing I don’t know how to do from the UI is see a diff between two versions. The only way I have figured out is to construct the URL for it manually.

You folks may want to look at Wikipedia’s history view for ideas. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=D3.js&action=history

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  • small bug report: in history view, the anchors in the minimap don’t work on “changed” cells
  • I’d love to be able to see a changeset directly by clicking on it in the history panel—currently it seems I have to go click “compare to latest” then tweak the url (unless I’m missing something?)

Yes, having a way to add a comment to a commit would be great and very functional.

i’ve tried to use the history and found it was not good as I had not clue to which version I was. So an optional popup comment would be useful to add a comment.

I put this into a github issue: https://github.com/observablehq/feedback/issues/46