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MathGroup Archive 2007

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Re: Compatibility woes

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg76644] Re: Compatibility woes
  • From: Helen Read <read at math.uvm.edu>
  • Date: Fri, 25 May 2007 06:30:57 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <f2btsp$iha$1@smc.vnet.net> <f2haq0$1o5$1@smc.vnet.net> <371807.1179934865197.JavaMail.root@m35> <f33o8i$ksg$1@smc.vnet.net>

DrMajorBob wrote:
> Like you, I can find no way to set or change this option.
> 
> UNLIKE you, all my new notebooks start out with In & Out hidden. (GOOD!)
> 
> Why anyone would want to see that, I've never understood.

Seeing  the In[] and Out[] labels is extremely helpful in a teaching 
environment. I can often figure out what is wrong in a student's 
notebook from the In/Out labels or lack thereof.

For example, the student opened up an existing notebook (which they 
saved with the output still in it) and forgot to re-execute a function 
definition when they came back and reopened the notebook. I can easily 
pick out the function(s) that they didn't re-execute, and *show them* 
"There is no In/Out here. You didn't execute this when you came back."

Similarly, sometimes the students will execute something, go back and 
change it, but fail to re-execute, which is easily detectable by the 
missing In[] tag.

Or they jump all over their notebook, doing things wildly out of order 
(using the same names everywhere and forgetting to clear/re-execute), 
which you can track down (and show them) by following the In/Out numbers.

Or they edit an input repeatedly, each time overwriting what they had 
before -- something they will often deny, BTW -- and you see a huge gap 
in the In/Out numbers, so you know something hinky happened at that 
point in their notebook and have an idea of what they need to Clear.

--
Helen Read
University of Vermont


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