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This is a tricky question and I'm not sure how to go about being a proponent of forward thinking/change in a system that is a little over 30 years old (to most middle aged/older scientists).

How can one promote version control ( used correctly it can save significant amounts of time and headaches - just like using tex ! ) amongst a group of people who are largely invariant in their ways.

Personally (call me crazy if you will) I see version control as the next step in producing well formatted documents in a short amount of time -just as the advent of tex did when it was first realized.

However, among peers I see the 'bad habits' (no version control/or poor versioning) of their advisers being imposed on them. They have no desire to change because their adviser does not understand this new technology (ok it is not new at all) and the will not be able to use it. The cycle continues as new students come in are show 'this is how we do it here'.

In order to promote version control it seems there would need to be a huge shift in thinking - does anybody have any ideas about how one could even attempt to begin this shift - or should I not waste my time and just deal with peers (when I'm much older) sticking to what they were taught?

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closed as off topic by Daniel, Marco Daniel, Paulo Cereda, egreg, Ian Thompson Mar 5 '12 at 21:46

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This is a general question about how to advertise version control systems. I don't see any relation to TeX/LaTeX. Maybe programmers.stackexchange.com is a better place for this question. –  Marco Mar 5 '12 at 17:34
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Marco - This is specific to the TeX/LaTeX community. Moving to programmers would be preaching to the choir - asking this question there people would think one is clinically insane not to use a VCS. I'm curious how to specifically approach this problem and confront psuedo-technical (they use Tex but not VCS) people from a Tex user's POV. –  Marm0t Mar 5 '12 at 17:43
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@Marm0t I will have to agree with Marco, you would not be preaching to the choir as they still would answer your question with proper knowledge. You refer to the professional LaTeX community, which I suspect are themselves programmers or/and very fond of VCS. I dont think that there are any benefits for a TeX person that would be any different than a normal programmers use of VCS. Your question is not: Should I use VCS or not? But how you should convince your colleagues. That does seem fit on PSX. –  zeroth Mar 5 '12 at 18:15
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Did you see advantages of using version control in LaTeX? The answers are basically the arguments you need for this question. If your collaborators disagree I would simply be happy with the fact that they at least use TeX/LaTeX. –  Marco Mar 5 '12 at 19:26
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I see version control as the next step in producing well formatted documents in a short amount of time Sorry, Marm0t, but this is a bit too exaggerated even for my taste. While I strongly advocate the use of a VCS, this has nothing to with how well formatted your document becomes. A direct comparison of VCS and TeX is, both, conceptually and technically misleading! –  Daniel Mar 5 '12 at 20:56
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