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Re: switching between versions 7 and 8

On 22 Dec 2010, at 08:34, AES wrote:

> 1)  When you (or others) keep and use multiple versions of Mathematica, do you
> (or does Mathematica automatically) create separate, different versions
> of all of these auxiliary files (like different Preferences or different
> default or init or font files) for all the versions you're running?

As far as I can tell Mathematica only creates separate FrontEnd Cache files for each version you have installed.These are located ~/Library/Mathematica/FrontEnd. Everything else in the Library Folder is shared by different versions.

The files that are unique to each version of Mathematica are stored inside each package. This is a nice feature of Mac OS X and it prevents both clutter and possible confusion.

> 2)  Or does just renaming the multiple versions by adding v6, v7, etc,
> to the application name automatically create and preserve new separate
> version-labelled versions of all these auxiliary files?

Not that I am aware of.
> 3)  If you have multiple versions of Mathematica installed, along with a
> notebook that you normally run in v6, and you accidentally open this
> notebook in v5 or v7, does doing that automatically modify some of the
> hidden metadata associated with that notebook, such that it will =
> differently (even maybe only slightly) the next time you open it in =

If you open a notebook created with a newer version with an older one =
Mathematica warns you about possible incompatibilities. If you do the =
opposite: open an older notebook with a newer version of Mathematica, =
what happens depends on the settings of your FrontEnd preferences. =
Mathematica can warn you and try to find the incompatibilities itself or =
just do nothing (as is the case with my set-up).
Nothing gets modified in a notebook unless you make some change in it =
and and save it. Once you do that there will indeed be some changes in =
the metadata.

> 4)  Just to pick one further example, one presumably wants the font
> management system on a Mac to be aware of _all_ the (separate and
> distinct) Mathematica fonts that are present and used in all these =
> versions.  (For example, maybe you're going to Export a file with text=

> content from one of the Mathematica versions, and then open it in some =
> application like Acrobat or Excel on your Mac.)  WIll the Mac's font
> management (and the font menus in other Mac applications) get further
> cluttered with each separate version of Mathematica you keep?

I think this might have been a problem with early versions of 
Mathematica (although I don't remember experiencing any problems of this 
kind myself) but since Mac OS X, Mathematica fonts are stored inside 
each package,so the fonts which are used are always the 
ones specific to the application that is open.

> For myself, I'm about to move my life to a new MacBook Pro; and trying
> to keep my own life protected from all these complexities, I think that
> rather than just migrating my current Users and ~/Library folder from my
> existing MacBook to the new one, I'm going first install v8 on the new,
> virgin MacBook Pro; reset all preferences and defaults by hand; and then
> hand-transfer over nothing but plain notebooks from the old to the new
> machine.  Only thing I don't know is just what license hassles doing
> this will get me into . . .

I think you licensing information is stored inside the application package itself; however you may need to enter your software key again when you move to a different computer. I have done this lot's of times and have never experienced any problems. 

Andrzej Kozlowsk

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