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Re: Wolfram Workbench user experiences

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  • Subject: [mg89004] Re: Wolfram Workbench user experiences
  • From: Will Robertson <wspr81 at>
  • Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 03:09:16 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <fvegvm$5f6$> <fvpcun$mlo$> <g134h2$m2m$>

Hi David,

I think I've made my opinions known on the m-file editor a couple of
months back. In general, I'm strongly supportive but some changes would
make it much nicer.

On 2008-05-22 16:10:34 +0930, David Bailey
<dave at> said:

> 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.

But none of those symbols are displayed after saving and reopening the
file. Worst design choice ever. If the symbols aren't able to be saved,
they shouldn't be allowed to be input in that form.

But considering the m-file is saved in plain text anyway and will most
likely be edited by Mathematica where the symbols will be perfectly
visible, it's just nonsensical to claim that "all plain text all of the
time" is better for authors.

On the other hand, the syntax colouring is fantastic. Truly useful and
a major point of differentiation with any other text editor.

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

And this is a good thing?! The programming editor I used as a child in
the 80s was able to indent code intelligently and it's embarassing to
regress so far.

Indenting code manually just kills me.

> 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
> Mathematica.

This is far and away the m-file editors strong suit. To be able to
collapse a program into subheadings and even add comments mid-block is
absolutely wonderful for code documentation.


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