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Re: Preserve notebook's $ContextPath between sessions /

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  • Subject: [mg104993] Re: [mg104967] Preserve notebook's $ContextPath between sessions /
  • From: Leo Alekseyev <dnquark at>
  • Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2009 05:13:41 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <>

John, thanks for your response.

Since there can be many session-dependent volatile contexts, it
probably wouldn't be a good idea to save them all by default -- which
is probably why that feature isn't there.  On the other hand, it would
be nice to offer the user a greater control over this: for instance, I
am simply trying to avoid doing

Needs/@{"foo`","bar`"} (* which have already been autoloaded by
init.m, but are now hidden *)
AppendTo[$ContexPath,"Global`"]; (* in some sessions it's good to have
a "read-only" access to global context *)

at the start of every notebook that I want to set up like that.
Specifying a "Other..." context as you suggested doesn't solve this
problem because the packages and loaded contexts are still hidden.

I am just surprised there isn't an easy mechanism to save/retrieve the
context info.

By poking around I noticed there's a variable
However, it looks like the SavedContextInfo variables cannot be made
persistent -- correct me if I am wrong.

I tried writing the following wrapper function:

test2[] := (SetOptions[EvaluationNotebook[],
   CellContext -> Notebook]; (AppendTo[$ContextPath, #1] &) /@
   Global`Private`SavedContextInfo["$ContextPath"]; $ContextPath =

However, it appears that only the SetOptions[EvaluationNotebook[],
CellContext -> Notebook] command takes effect when written like this
*unless invoked twice in two separate cells with a fully-qualified
symbol name.  This seems kind of inelegant (and trying to do this
voodoo programmatically by manipulating notebooks with kernel
functions is ugly and doesn't work well).  I am still curious if there
is a good way around this.


On Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 10:44 AM, John Fultz <jfultz at> wrote:
> Yes, that's right.  Mathematica is not just changing the context, but t=
rying to
> sandbox a number of evaluation side effects from notebooks which are oper=
> in another context, including...
> * $Context (of course)
> * $ContextPath
> * The state of In[]/Out[] numbering
> * The Out[] history
> In a notebook set with a unique notebook-level context, no attempt is mad=
e to
> recover the same context when you close and open the notebook again, and =
> context you used isn't stored anywhere in the file.  I don't think that=
> to anyone here when designing the feature, and I'm not entirely certain w=
> it would be generally desirable to do so.
> But, what you want to do is easy enough.  Instead of specifying a
> notebook-unique context, specify a named context of your choice (i.e., th=
> "Other..." option).  Everything will be remembered as long as it's usin=
g the
> same context name, and by hard-coding the name, you can guarantee that. =
>'ll have to make sure you pick a unique name.  But that's pro=
bably not
> so could choose a name based upon the file name, for exam=
> You could write a button which does this, too.  I'll leave that as an e=
> for the reader.
> Sincerely,
> John Fultz
> jfultz at
> User Interface Group
> Wolfram Research, Inc.
> On Sun, 15 Nov 2009 05:56:32 -0500 (EST), dnquark wrote:
>> I have fallen into the habit of making the default context of the
>> notebooks private by issuing the command
>> SetOptions[EvaluationNotebook[], CellContext->Notebook]
>> at the start of every notebook session.  However, I typically add
>> several other contexts to $ContextPath; I even wrote a utility
>> function to easily do all this automatically.
>> It turns out, though, that upon closing and reopening the notebook
>> Mathematica puts only "Notebook$$xx`" and "System`" contexts in
>> $ContextPath.  My question is -- is there a way to make _my custom_
>> $ContextPath persistent between sessions in the same way as {"Notebook$
>> $xx`", "System`"} context list is persistent?..  Or at least, can I
>> store custom metadata with the notebook -- i can always write a
>> wrapper function to retrieve it.
>> Thanks,
>> --Leo

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