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Re: Comment about SetDirectory[]

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  • Subject: [mg130867] Re: Comment about SetDirectory[]
  • From: "Alexey Popkov" <lehin.p at>
  • Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 02:19:30 -0400 (EDT)
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  • References: <kn77kd$8ig$> <> <>


The case I had mentioned is related to creating an animation based on 
Dynamic interface. I know that it is not straightforward way but it was 
simplest since I originally made a Dynamic presentation and the easier way 
was just Export a Table of frames each has different value of a time-related 
parameter (which was Dynamic). I had about 2500 such GIF frames in my 
exported animation and I recreated them several times while I polished my 
animation. And I did not change my Export code: file path was always started 
with "NotebookDiretory[]<>...". And finally I found about 5 of about each 
2500 exported frames in the documents directory on disk C:\ (I always place 
my documents on disk D:\ and here was placed the evaluating notebook). All 
other frames was exported to requested location on disk D:\. The missing 
(unexpectedly exported to the documents directory on disk C:\) frames result 
in significant damage of my animation.


-----Original message----- 
From: John Fultz
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 8:51 PM
To: Alexey Popkov
Cc: mathgroup at
Subject: [mg130867] Re: Comment about SetDirectory[]

I've never heard of or seen Alexey's issue before.  However, it is the case 
that NotebookDirectory[] will return $Failed if you execute 

* in a notebook which hasn't been saved to disk, and therefore doesn't have 
a notebook.
* in an evaluation which wasn't directly triggered by a specific notebook, 
such as a ScheduledTask.

John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

On May 20, 2013, at 11:02 PM, "Alexey Popkov" <lehin.p at> wrote:

> Hi Paul,
> I would not recommend to use  the
> Export[NotebookDirectory[] <>  "TestResultTime.txt", mTimeDiff, "Table"]
> form if you are exporting many such files because NotebookDirectory[]
> sometimes (approximately one time in 500 exports in one of my programs)
> returns nothing and the file is exported to the default directory.
> As to your case I think it is possible that SetDirectory[] worked but
> NotebookDirectory[] failed... I would recommend to check the output of
> NotebookDirectory[] with StringLength.
> with best wishes,
> Alexey
> "McHale, Paul"  wrote:kn77kd$8ig$1 at
> I have often wondered whether to use:
> SetDirectory[NotebookDirectory[]]
> Export["TestResultTime.txt", mTimeDiff, "Table"]
> or
> Export[NotebookDirectory[] <>  "TestResultTime.txt", mTimeDiff, "Table"]
> I have left Mathematica open for 2 days as it was running a very long 
> test.
> Maybe something became corrupted.  The first method did not work.  It
> appears SetDirectory[] simply stopped functioning.  Personally, I think 
> the
> second method is better since it is atomic in nature.  It doesn't depend 
> on
> any stateful settings.
> Has anyone else had this issue?
> Thanks,
> Paul McHale  |  Electrical Engineer, Energetic Systems   |  Excelitas
> Technologies Corp.
> Office: +1 937.865.3004   |  Fax: +1 937.865.5170
> 1100 Vanguard Boulevard, Miamisburg, OH  45342-0312
> Paul.McHale at

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