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Re: Package development

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg62569] Re: Package development
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnewsciv at>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005 00:58:06 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

On 11/27/05 at 2:41 AM, tt at wrote:

>Now the question. I have written a few packages in the past. More
>recently, I am always questioning myself to know if I should
>develop it directly in an ASCII .m file or use the notebook format 
>and rely on the autosave package feature (initialization cells). I
>like the idea of  developing the package in the notebook format to
>have all the formatting features that ease reading, but at the same
>time, I hate to loose all the comments I put in when the *.m file
>is created. Of course I could put comments in the input lines of
>the notebook, but then I am better writing the ASCII file. Also, I
>could save the notebook as a package through "Save as Special"
>(that puts all the headers and text in comments, which is not done
>with the autosave package feature), but this is not an automated
>way of doing things. I am just seeking opinions from Mathematica
>power users. Which way do you develop packages?

I started out writing .m files directly in a text editor using the template in one of Maeder's books as a starting point. But I have since migrated to using a notebook relying on initialization cells. But in making this switch, I've not given up including comments.

What I do is create a separate cell for the comments, formatting this cell as a text cell (Format->Style->Text). True, the comments do not appear in the created .m file, but so what? With this method, there is no need to edit the .m file directly. So, the lack of comments in the generated .m file is rather unimportant.
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