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RE: Re: Viewing packages in mathematica
I agree with you that I would much prefer to have Mathematica notebooks as the primary source for package code. The reasons are: 1) You get the automatic formatting. 2) You get syntax coloring. 3) You can include Text cells for notes on the code. 4) You can use sectional grouping so you don't have just one long scroll. 5) You're not completely committed to Workbench. One of the major problem with creating .m files in Workbench is that if you Import the code from a regular existing package then the .m code does not line wrap. This makes it very difficult to read and to modify. However, if you copy and paste code from an existing notebook then it does line wrap. Making .m files the primary source of package definitions is a significant obstacle to users who would prefer to stay closer to mathematics than to computer programming. It would be nice if Workbench included a mechanism similar to the auto generated package mechanism that would generate line wrapping .m files. But there is a method that I've found, just in the last two days, that works and is fairly convenient. 1) In your Workbench application folder create package.nb and package.m files. 2) The package.nb notebook will look just like a regular package notebook done outside of Workbench except: don't make it an auto generated package and don't even use Initialization cells. (Making it an auto generated package will get Workbench all confused!) This will be your primary package source file. 3) To create the package.m file: Select all the Input cells in package.nb, and copy them; go to the package.m file select everything and paste. (To select all the Input cells in package.nb hold down Alt and click on one of the brackets.) With this method the code will line wrap in the .m file. You can also just copy and paste a single routine. This 'hand' method is quite quick and easy. You don't have to much look at the .m file. I believe that once the kinks are smoothed out, and there is better documentation and examples Workbench can be a very useful working interface for regular Mathematica users. One advantage is that it is a regular WRI supported feature of the Mathematica system, and it blends with the rest of Mathematica. As I've mentioned before, some of the things it could be used for are: 1) Writing an electronic book. 2) Writing university courseware. 3) Working on a major research project. 4) Self-study of a textbook or some subject matter. All of these things are likely to generate routines that could be put into a package, and if you are going to do that it might as well be documented. It's not that much work if you confine it to major useful routines. Then a Mathematica Application is a good way to organized relatively finished material, package routines and subject matter notebooks, so it is easy to get at it again. It's a lot better than having a lot of loose notebooks with an undocumented routine here and another there. It's a major fruit of your labor so it's worthwhile to have it documented and organized. David Park djmpark at comcast.net http://home.comcast.net/~djmpark/ From: Bill Rowe [mailto:readnews at sbcglobal.net] Also, there is Wolfram Workbench. Others have found this useful. As for myself, I've not found Wolfram Workbench to be that useful. I much prefer keeping a Mathematica notebook and generating the .m file from it.