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Re: Re: Notebook History -- what is it good for?

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  • Subject: [mg77790] Re: [mg77720] Re: Notebook History -- what is it good for?
  • From: "Chris Chiasson" <chris at>
  • Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2007 05:57:43 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <f4olfq$763$> <>

Why not use a revision control system like Subversion? Space
constraints? Also, there is at least one system--git--that computes
the SHA1 hash of its entire repository history for each revision,
which would help in validating repository authenticity.

On 6/15/07, Steve Luttrell <steve at> wrote:
> I'm using it experimentally to replicate (part of) the effect of using a
> time-stamped "laboratory notebook".
> The time-honoured way to time stamp material (e.g. for patent priority
> purposes) is to keep a countersigned paper record, but this doesn't work if
> you do everything in electronic form (e.g. Mathematica notebooks) unless you
> use some additional procedures to generate verifiable time stamps.
> The Notebook History feature looks to me like a first attempt to generate
> time stamps for Mathematica notebooks. It doesn't go all the way because you
> can't determine the exact state of a notebook at a given point in the past,
> but at least it shows where you have been going back to "fiddle" with
> earlier results, and thus gives a last-updated time for each cell. As for
> whether this sort of time stamp would be recognised in law, that presumably
> would depend on whether the time stamps were difficult to fake. I think that
> time-stamped copies of your notebooks are the only convincing approach here.
> My "laboratory notebook" has been a web of Mathematica notebooks since
> version 3.0, and up until now I have carefully added date labels to every
> group of cells that I create and/or edit, AND I periodically make a
> time-stamped copy of active notebooks. I don't yet know the precise way in
> which I will end up using the new Notebook History feature; at the moment I
> regard it as an experimental feature.
> Steve Luttrell
> West Malvern, UK
> "Szabolcs" <szhorvat at> wrote in message
> news:f4olfq$763$1 at
> >
> > In Mathematica 6 there is an entry in the Cell menu: Notebook History.
> > Does it do anything apart from tracking the modification times of cells?
> >  Is anyone here using this feature?  If yes, how do you use it/why do
> > you find it useful?
> >
> > I am just curious about this new feature.
> >
> > Szabolcs
> >


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