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Re: Wolfram Workbench user experiences

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg88957] Re: Wolfram Workbench user experiences
  • From: David Bailey <dave at>
  • Date: Thu, 22 May 2008 02:37:07 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <> <fvpcun$mlo$>

Jose Luis Gomez wrote:
> Dear David
> Before Workbench existed, many times I used a very simple ASCII editor
> (Notepad for Windows) to create Mathematica packages. My personal reason for
> using an ASCII editor is that I like to have control on the exact code that
> is actually written, and I liked to have my code in a readable way, even if
> you do Not have Mathematica (if you used Mathematica 5.2 as your IDE, to
> write the packages, then .m file was not so easy to read, end-of-line
> characters were missing, weird characters would appear, etc. so that you
> actually needed the original .nb file from which the .m file was created, in
> order to be able to read -as a human- the package)
> That is my personal way of programming. Sometimes I do the same with HTML
> files, just use a simple ASCII editor, so I have all the control in the
> actual code.
> Now that I have Wolfram Workbench 1.0.0, I like it very much. For me, it is
> like a simple ASCII editor but it does know about Mathematica syntax, so I
> have syntax coloring, when I mouse-over a known Mathematica command, I get
> the message about the basic syntax of that command, etc. But at the same
> time, "WHAT I WRITE IS WHAT I GET" in the final .m file, which is something
> that I like very much. Furthermore, you also get syntax coloring when you
> print your program. That I love: many advantages without losing the control
> of the exact code that is written in the .m file of my packages.
> Therefore, for me, who used to program in simple ASCII editor (Notepad for
> Windows), the Workbench has been great.
> Of course I do a very basic use of all the possibilities of Workbench, so
> far I have Not written a package where different programming languages are
> used, neither have I used other "advanced" features of Workbench. I have
> written just plain Mathematica packages, like the one here:
> Best regards!
> Jose 
> Mexico
> -----Mensaje original-----
> De: David Bailey [mailto:dave at] 
> Enviado el: Viernes, 02 de Mayo de 2008 02:43 a.m.
> Para: mathgroup at
> Asunto:  Wolfram Workbench user experiences
> 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.
> David Bailey
Try opening a .m file in Mathematica. At 6.0 you get a much better 
editor than the WB. It knows about (and therefore displays) lots of 
special symbols, and it finds and colours probable syntax errors.

It operates much more like an editor than the notebook editor because it 
does not try to auto-indent.

Best of all, it lets you create headings and sections - just as you 
would in a notebook - and it hides these away in the .m file as 
Mathematica comments. I prepare all my packages using this part of 

David Bailey

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