Spreadsheets are the most popular live programming environments, but they are also notoriously fault-prone. One reason for this is that users actively rely on copy-paste to make up for the lack of abstraction mechanisms. Adding abstraction however, introduces indirection and thus cognitive distance. In this paper we propose an alternative: copy-paste tracking. Tracking copies that spreadsheet users make, allows them to directly edit copy-pasted formulas, but instead of changing only a single instance, the changes will be propagated to all formulas copied from the same source. As a result, spreadsheet users will enjoy the benefits of abstraction without its drawbacks.
spreadsheets, live programming, origin tracking
Software (theme 1)
International Conference on Live Coding
Software Analysis and Transformation

Hermans, F, & van der Storm, T. (2015). Copy-paste Tracking: Fixing Spreadsheets Without Breaking Them.