Thursday, May 24, 2012

Version Numbers of Documents

I started numbering the initial drafts of my papers using 00 (instead of, say, 1) a long time ago, but today I sunk to a new low: I not only gave a paper a negative version number, which I have actually done before, but I gave it a negative and noninteger version number.

Of course, from a mathematical point of view, this isn't technically a new low, as it is version -0.5 and I have had a version -1 on other papers.

Also, the reason I use 00 instead of 0 is in anticipation of needing double digits and wanting the alphabetization to work correctly.

Update (5/25/12): Ernie Barreto challenged me in a comment in my Facebook post on this topic to use complex numbers in my version numbers. Challenge accepted. John Meacham reminded me of Knuth's up-arrow notation, and by looking that up, I learned for the first time that iterated exponentiation is called "tetration". That last fact alone is worth the entire Facebook post. (P.S. Now that it is 25 May, be it known that it is now Towel Day.)


Justin said...

If you're just now learning about tetration, you clearly don't read SMBC:

Mason said...

I have seen tetration before. I just didn't know the term.

As for SMBC, I only read it when I see specific ones pointed out, and I have enjoyed some of those.