MathGroup Archive 2010

[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index]

Search the Archive

Re: switching between versions 7 and 8

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg114912] Re: switching between versions 7 and 8
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnews at>
  • Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2010 03:50:06 -0500 (EST)

On 12/22/10 at 2:34 AM, siegman at (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?

You have lumped too many things together to have the same answer
for all. Some of these folders such as
~/Library/Mathematica/Applications only contain things you have
installed and are not installed when installing Mathematica
itself on a Mac. Items in these folders will be available to all
versions of Mathematica you have installed on your machine.
Since these items are not installed by the process of installing
Mathematica on your machine, they are not over written by
installing a new version nor can the files contained in these be
guaranteed to work with a new version.

Other folders in this file contain files and folders created
when you first run some version of Mathematica. An example would
be the folders in ~/Library/Mathematica/FrontEnd. The folders
here contain cache files created by Mathematica. Each version
creates a separate folder for its own cache automatically.

So, for stuff *you* installed, there may be some issues you will
have to work out. For stuff Mathematica creates, naming is taken
care of for you automatically.

>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?

Renaming the installed version of Mathematica does not change
naming of files/folder Mathematica creates in
~/Library/Mathematica. The only reason for renaming the
installed version is to keep the MacOS from over writing one
version with a new version. By default, all versions of
Mathematica on the Mac for OS X are named You
clearly cannot have two versions existing simultaneously in the
same folder with the same name.

>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 behave differently (even maybe only slightly) the next time
>you open it in v6?

Opening a notebook created in one version with another version
will not change the contents of the notebook. But saving a
notebook created in say version 5 after opening it in version 7
will change the contents and may make it unusable in version 5.

Later versions of Mathematica will generally open notebooks
created by earlier versions. Opening notebooks created in a
version before 6 with version 6 or later should trigger a dialog
giving you the option to update the notebook. Version 6 made
substantial changes to the way graphics work and likely will not
display graphics the way you want if the code is not updated
before execution.

Earlier versions may or may not open a notebook created by a
later version in an useful way.

>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
>Mathematica 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 other 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?

This isn't an issue with respect to having both version 7 and 8
installed on a Mac. For there to be an issue with fonts and
various versions of Mathematica, you would probably need a
version earlier than version 3 (something prior to when
Mathematica automatically typeset output) and say version 6 or
later. Unless you are developing apps for others to use and want
to support really old versions of Mathematica, this simply isn't
something to worry about.

>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 . . .

You seem to be doing quite a bit to make things more difficult
than they need to be. Unless you have customized your current
machine (I assume it is a Mac) in a rather unusual way, Apple's
migration assistent will move the appropriate files to your
MacBookPro. After using migration assistant, I would simply drag
version 7 which will be transferred to your MacBookPro to the
trash and install version 8 since you stated above you only want
to keep the current version installed.

For myself, when a new version of Mathematica as been made
available, I leave the old version installed for awhile. This
allows me to easily go back one version should something change
in the newer version that causes me an issue. At some point, I
find I no  longer launch the older version and simply delete it
from my hard drive. The deletion usually happens long after I've
stopped using the older version when I spend some time cleaning
out old apps/files from my hard drive.

  • Prev by Date: Re: Reduce in Mathematica 5 vs Mathematica 8
  • Next by Date: Re: switching between versions 7 and 8
  • Previous by thread: Re: switching between versions 7 and 8
  • Next by thread: Re: switching between versions 7 and 8