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MathGroup Archive 2007

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Best practice for Mathematica package development

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg77149] Best practice for Mathematica package development
  • From: Andrew Moylan <andrew.j.moylan at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2007 06:29:05 -0400 (EDT)

What are the best standards and practices to follow when developing
serious Mathematica packages that are intended for many people to use?
Is there a handy guide, and/or template .m files, that can be used by
prospective package developers?

In the past I have made packages by allowing Mathematica to
automatically generate .m files from a notebook containing the
relevant definitions in initialization cells. With the advent of
Workbench, I assume this is no longer the best method.

I am interested in best practices related to managing options,
contexts, warnings and errors, interfaces in general, etc. Is there a
list of standards adhered to when WRI designs packages?

Of course I can often see how others have designed packages by reading
the .m files in their packages. Are all well-known packages as well-
designed as each another? Can anyone recommend a particular package as
a good example of how to write packages well?



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