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Re: Wolfram Workbench user experiences

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg88445] Re: Wolfram Workbench user experiences
  • From: Art <grenander at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 06:16:05 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <fvhe66$416$1@smc.vnet.net>

On May 3, 3:18 am, Bill Rowe <readn... at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> On 5/2/08 at 3:43 AM, dave at Remove_Thisdbailey.co.uk (David Bailey)
> wrote:
>
> >I would be very interested in other people's experiences with the
> >Wolfram Workbench. I must admit that I prefer to use the frontend as
> >my 'IDE', and the workbench seemed fairly alien when I tried it.
>
> I briefly played with Wolfram Workbench. But I didn't see any
> significant advantage it had over using the frontend to develop
> code. So, like you, I stuck with using the frontend.

I would have to disagree with some of these statements. I am a
relatively new mathematica user and I find Workbench indispensable. It
is especially useful for working on a set of nested packages,
particularly with the automatic package reload feature. It catches
errors in syntax and has good syntax highlighting. It works nicely in
tandem with a source-code repository, writing and debugging C or java
mathlink programs. It seems to have been designed with some care. For
example, cutting and pasting text from a notebook works seemlessly and
inserts spaces in appropriate places. The debugger has a stack trace
so it is an easy way to learn what mathematica is actually doing.
Setting breakpoints on messages is very useful. For example, if you
have problems aborting some buggy code, set a breakpoint on all
messages, it breaks on the first message, abort in the frontend, and
then run, and the kernel immediately aborts. And it can automatically
update itself.

But the debugger is buggy and slow for me. Also, Workbench is built
around a slightly older version of eclipse which makes it hard to use
with other eclipse addons (like the C++ one). It's not natively 64-
bit, I think. And it has a critical bug in the console window that
causes it to crash on messages that include Short versions of
numerical lists (I think the console tries to print the whole list or
something). It is also a relative memory hog. And the package editor
from the front-end is more 'literate programming' friendly.


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