If you want to publish your scientific scripts, as Nick Barnes advises in Nature, you can very easily do so with Mercurial.
All my stuff (not just code), excempting only huge datasets, is in a Mercurial source repository.1
Whenever I change something and it does anything new, I commit the files with a simple commit (even if it’s only “it compiles!”).
With that I can always check “which were the last things I did” (look into the log) or “when did I change this line, and why?” (annotate the file). Also I can easily share my scripts folder with others and Mercurial can merge my work and theirs, so if they fix a line and I fix another line, both fixes get integrated without having to manually copy-paste them around.
For all that it doesn’t need much additional expertise: The basics can be learned in just 15 minutes — and you’ll likely never need more than these for your work.2
Update 2013: Nowadays I include the
revision of scripts I use in the name of their output files or folders, so I always know which version of my scripts I used to create some result.
You can use Mercurial in three main ways:
Just use the commandline client (GNU/Linux, Windows, Mac OSX, …). 15 minutes for the basics: http://mercurial-scm.org/guide/
Use the graphical interface integrated into the Windows explorer, also callable via hgtk in Unixoid systems: http://tortoisehg.bitbucket.org/manual/1.1/quick.html
Use a program which integrates Mercurial: http://mercurial-scm.org/wiki/OtherTools
The European Copyright directive threatens online communication in Europe.
But thanks to massive shared action earlier this year, the European parliament can still prevent the problems. For each of the articles there are proposals which fix them. The parliamentarians (MEPs) just have to vote for them. And since they are under massive pressure from large media companies, that went as far as defaming those who took action as fake people, the MEPs need to hear your voice to know that your are real.
If you care about the future of the Internet in the EU, please Call your MEPs.