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I know there are discussions on this site about version control, etc. And it appears that CellChangeTimes are used for this purpose, but how? As an individual user working alone, is this data potentially useful to me? The only thing I have ever wanted to do with it is to remove it. But I don't like changing default functionality without understanding the consequences, so I haven't set TrackCellChangeTimes to False.

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    $\begingroup$ AFAIK they are only used to provide statistics about changes in the notebooks which can be accessed via Cell -> Notebook History. I don't think they are used for version control, the reason they appear there are on the contrary because they are one of the features which make it difficult to reasonably track notebook with a version control system. As I don't use the notebook history function I have switchted TrackCellChangeTimes to False and have not seen any problems due to that. $\endgroup$ – Albert Retey May 12 at 19:50
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I know there are discussions on this site about version control, etc. And it appears that CellChangeTimes are used for this purpose, but how

They have nothing to do with version control.

You might want to disable it so that it does not affect version control systems.

As an individual user working alone, is this data potentially useful to me?

If you want to collect statistics on when you changed the notebook, then yes.

https://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2012/03/the-personal-analytics-of-my-life/

What are the conseqences of setting TrackCellChangeTimes to False?

I never tried to disable this globally (I only disabled it per notebook), but I doubt that disabling it would break anything. The per-notebook settings are accessible in Cell -> Notebook History. The global setting is in the option inspector.

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  • $\begingroup$ The way I work, examining CellChangeTimes would probably be very misleading. Or at least confusing, and not very informative. I have cells created over a decade ago in recently created notebooks. It might be modestly amusing to see their antiquity, but it wouldn't lead me back to their origin. For an organized, methodical thinker, it may be valuable to track such details. For me, I produce enough clutter on my own, without a computer contributing to it programmatically. $\endgroup$ – Steven Thomas Hatton May 16 at 11:13

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