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MathGroup Archive 2007

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Re: Best practice for Mathematica package development

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg77228] Re: Best practice for Mathematica package development
  • From: Andrew Moylan <andrew.j.moylan at>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2007 06:44:41 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <f43e7d$mv$>

To elaborate a little more, some of the other particular topics (aside
from those mentioned in my original post) for which I am interested in
best practises are:

* layout of .m files in package directories, and why;

* testing (use Eclipse's built-in testing stuff? a separate
Mathematica notebook? why?);

* uniqueness of exported symbol names (i.e., has this old question
been resolved satisfactorily yet:;

* long function definitions with (*comments*) inside them versus many
smaller function definitions with (*comments*) between them; and

* standards for features new to Mathematica 6, like syntax colouring.

On Jun 5, 8:34 pm, Andrew Moylan <andrew.j.moy... at> wrote:
> 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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