Best Practice: Rembember Application State

From Firefox I learned that applications should always save their state. When you close and restart an application is should restore its state to what it was previously. Open windows, open documents, which text was highlighted, how far down you’ve scrolled, the undo and redo buffers, etc.

Let’s use a text editor as an example. Say you have a grocery list saved on your computer. You open the grocery list and add three lines to it, but before you can save it a rabbit gnaws through your computer’s power cable and it turns off! You replace the power cable, boot your computer and start the text editor. It should:

  1. Open your grocery list automatically
  2. Restore the three lines you added before you lost power
  3. Realize that the three lines have not been saved to the file yet
  4. Let you “undo” repeatedly until the grocery list is back to what it was originally
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