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Re: Wolfram Workbench user experiences

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg89049] Re: Wolfram Workbench user experiences
  • From: David Bailey <dave at>
  • Date: Sat, 24 May 2008 03:56:37 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <fvegvm$5f6$> <fvpcun$mlo$> <g134h2$m2m$> <g15qr8$pff$>

Will Robertson wrote:
> 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=
> t
>> 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.
> Will
Which symbols are you referring to - all my symbols display correctly 
after save and re-load - things lie \[alpha] \[Breve], etc.

I guess indenting would be a useful option, but everyone has a different 
preferred style for indentation. I use a small indentation program of my 
own that indents Mathematica code in my preferred way, and therefore I 
don't want the editor to change this.

David Bailey

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