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Re: categorys in the Help Browser

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg55467] Re: categorys in the Help Browser
  • From: Paul Abbott <paul at>
  • Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 03:42:16 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: The University of Western Australia
  • References: <d1rh88$44d$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

In article <d1rh88$44d$1 at>,
 Andre Hollstein <hollstei at> wrote:

> I'm working on a project where we solve problems in physics with
> mathematica.

Interesting. A number of the tutorial examples at

are similar to those I cover in my introductory computational science 
courses at

> All the material (our Homepage is
> is included in the Help
> Browser. The Problem is, that we need more than 8 Cathegories (e.g. Tour, 
> Demos,Master Index) in the Help Browser. If we simple add
> more than 8 Categorys (with the HelpDirectoryListing[...] or
> BrowserCategory[..] command) the Help Browser show only the first 8 of
> them.
> I think there are 2 possible solutions:
> 1.) to find a possibility to add more than 8 Categorys

This is straightforward. If you modify the top-level BrowserCategory 
listing (in the Documentation`English directory) to say 

 BrowserCategory["Help Browser", None, {
    HelpDirectoryListing[{"RefGuide"}, False],
    HelpDirectoryListing[{"AddOns"}, False],
    HelpDirectoryListing[{"MainBook"}, False],
    HelpDirectoryListing[{"OtherInformation"}, False],
    HelpDirectoryListing[{"GettingStarted"}, False],
    HelpDirectoryListing[{"Tour"}, False],
    HelpDirectoryListing[{"Demos"}, False],
    HelpDirectoryListing[{"New1"}, False],
    HelpDirectoryListing[{"New2"}, False],
    HelpDirectoryListing[{"New3"}, False],
    BrowserCategory["Master Index", None, {HelpMasterIndex[]}]

and re-build the Help Index, the Help Browser remains unchanged. 
However, if you now create 3 new folders -- New1, New2, New3 -- in this 
same directory, each containing BrowserCategories.m files, and re-build 
the Help Index, the Help Browser listing now has 11 entries, as expected.

> 2.) to have a Second "Help Brower" which show just our material
> I hope someone will have a solution for us.

An alternative is to completely customize the Mathematica menus. An 
example of this approach is Physica, developed by John Bolton from Open 
University, Milton Keynes, UK, demonstrated at IMS 2001 and 2003. 
(However, at present it seems that the only way to get it is to enrol as 
a student at The Open University in Britain.) A paper on Physica is at

 Physica: A Computer Environment for Physics Problem-Solving
 Ross S.M.; Bolton J.P.R.
 Interactive Learning Environments, August 2002, 10(2): 157-175(19)
 Publisher:  Taylor and Francis Ltd 

Physica is an integrated software package designed as part of a course 
for distance learning students from non-traditional educational 
backgrounds. It gives students access to an extensive hyperlinked 
physics glossary, computer algebra and graph-plotting tools. The package 
aims to give students a framework for solving physics problems and to 
help them acquire some higher level skills of quantitative 
problem-solving. This paper outlines rationales underlying various 
protocols for solving physics problems, and discusses the extent to 
which frameworks may be useful in helping students develop appropriate 
strategies for representing problems in formal terms, selecting targets, 
planning solutions and checking answers. Pedagogical issues underlying 
the design and implementation of the software are discussed.


Paul Abbott                                   Phone: +61 8 6488 2734
School of Physics, M013                         Fax: +61 8 6488 1014
The University of Western Australia      (CRICOS Provider No 00126G)         
35 Stirling Highway
Crawley WA 6009                      mailto:paul at 

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