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Topic: Notebook Format History?
Replies: 2   Last Post: May 31, 2012 2:49 AM

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Posts: 9
Registered: 3/20/11
Re: Notebook Format History?
Posted: May 31, 2012 2:49 AM
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On May 30, 4:14 am, John Fultz <> wrote:
> On Tue, 29 May 2012 05:47:52 -0400 (EDT), JCW wrote:
> > Please forgive my dragging up ancient history: I have been using
> > Mathematica
> > from version 2.2 through 7.0. I remember at least one (maybe two?) format
> > conversions that were necessary to update old notebooks to the newer
> > formats. I also remember at least one batch-notebook-conversion command.
> > Unfortunately I cannot remember the details:

> > 1) Between which versions did these format changes occur? (I'm pretty
> > sure there was one from the vs. 2.2 and x.mb format to the newer
> > x.nb format. Was there another format change within x.nb versions?)

> > 2) What was the name of the batch converter (or converters) mentioned
> > above? (I know I have it in my archives, but it's difficult to find
> > without a name!)

> > Thanks in advance for any help!
> I'm always one for ancient history.
> There was only the one switch from 2.2 .ma/.mb files to 3.0 .nb files.
> Possibly, you might be remembering v6 when pre-v6 notebooks were opened with an
> compatibility tool added to the top, but the tool had nothing to do with the
> file was merely an aid to updating some of the code inside the
> notebook.
> Also, .nb files are not wholly backward compatible. They'll always open in
> older versions, but as new features get added to Mathematica, inputs/outputs
> depending upon those features may not render or function correctly in older
> versions. The most radical such change would be in v6, when we switched from
> using PostScript for graphics to more native constructs in the notebooks. Which
> means that pretty much any v6 or later notebook is going to produce graphics
> which are wholly unusable by v5 or earlier (but the notebooks *do* open, and
> textual content comes through just fine).
> The converter for .ma->.nb is Developer`NotebookConvert. It's still documented
> in the latest shipping Mathematica.
> Sincerely,
> John Fultz
> User Interface Group
> Wolfram Research, Inc.

>>I'm always one for ancient history.<<

Thanks, John -- Exactly what I needed! -- JCW

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