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MathGroup Archive 2005

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Re: books on writing packages

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg56759] Re: books on writing packages
  • From: AES <siegman at stanford.edu>
  • Date: Thu, 5 May 2005 06:02:03 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • References: <d59keo$6ce$1@smc.vnet.net>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

In article <d59keo$6ce$1 at smc.vnet.net>,
 "David Park" <djmp at earthlink.net> wrote:

> When working on some subject, I always organize my notebooks in Sections
> (always using Automatic Grouping!) My first Section is an Initialization
> section. My second Section is always a Routines section. As I write routines
> I gather them in the Routines section (and write usage messages for them).
> Sometimes, if I have multiple notebooks, I copy the Routines section from
> notebook to notebook. After a while, I pick out the routines that seem
> really general and useful and move them to a package.
> 
> So simply by organizing your notebooks in a sensible way (i.e., the default
> way that WRI has set up for us) it is easy to build up routines and
> transistion to packages.
> 
> David Park

Agreed, this is the sensible way to do this, and how I generally do it.  
But two gripes about the result:

1)  In PhD dissertations, journal papers, books, reports, the (sometimes 
lengthy) "Routines" are most commonly are sent to the end, e.g. are 
stuck in Appendices, and the Initialization (or Introduction) section is 
immediately followed by the important (to the reader) sections such as 
Calculations and Results.  Among other things that lets you easily 
select and print the Introduction, the Calculations and the Results to 
toss in a file folder or (three-hole-type) notebook, leaving off the 
lengthy Routines stuff.

Mathematica doesn't make it easy to organize its notebooks that way.

2)  In my (limited) experience if I use Automatic Grouping and try to 
close groups to see only the section headings (to get an overview of the 
notebook structure and faster scrolling to , this doesn't work right 
(i.e., the way I want it!) unless the cell structure is strictly 
hierarchical.   E.g., if I have repeated cell sequences in the form 

   Section
   Text (a few paragraphs introducing the section)
   Subsection  
   Subsection

closing these groups so I'll see just the Section headings does not 
close the Text cells, although it does close the Subsections (maybe I'm 
not doing things right?).

Also, closing the Routines section, then running the notebook from the 
top (to get a fresh start) opens the Routines section, doesn't it?


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