More Input Types for the Logbook March 20, 2010Posted by gordonwatts in Uncategorized.
The comments to that last post pointed out there were a few other things people want to put in their logbooks. I’m biased by what I use of course, and the way I filtered the previous email reflected that, I’m afraid.
Besides the comments I made last time, it was pointed out that integration with a cell phone is a definite plus. Modern cell phone cameras are already connected to wireless networks of one sort or another. It should allow you to add things into your logbook right away – similar to the Eye-Fi that I mentioned last time.
Actually, as far as I know, at least two programs already support this – Evernote and Onenote. In both cases you can view your logbooks on your phone, and insert notes, etc. I’ll talk more about the programs in my next post on this.
This got left off my previous list for two reasons. First is that over the last 6 months the amount of actual code I’ve written has been much less than normal – so I’m not thinking about this aspect of things nearly as much.
The second reason is code repositories, like cvs and svn. At least in particle physics almost all the code we write is in one of these two repositories. For those that don’t have experience with code repositories: they allow you to track all the changes you make to your code, and to specify a point-in-time where everything works. You can go back to that point in time whenever you like and get the code exactly as it existed then no matter what state it has evolved to.
As you might guess from the way I worded that last bit there – it sounds a lot like a logbook to me. It can even keep track of annotations. And, unlike the way we think of most logbooks, it is collaborative – frequently many of us work together on the same bit of code coordinating our actions through the code repository. For most of that code I never am too interested in putting it in the logbook. Rather, I will often mention in a sentence the “thing” that I changed or improved.
But if you are using something like Mathematica, or MATLAB, etc., to do a calculation then it may be almost simpler to paste in the code than write it up in words. In some sense, this sounds to me like being able to add TeX easily to the blog – but being able to execute it as well.
And, while speaking of code, possu pointed out this is really useful if one can also have syntax coloring (keywords, variable names, etc., highlighted in different colors).