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Re: Transition to Wolfram Workbench

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  • Subject: [mg107747] Re: Transition to Wolfram Workbench
  • From: Albert Retey <awnl at>
  • Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 01:53:56 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <hm31v9$m5f$>


> could you give some recommendations for a smooth transition to the
> workbench for packages developed in a standard mathematica notebook
> environment?  Starting a completely new project in the workbench is
> one thing, but at least as important is the question how to continue
> to work on existing packages created previously by other means. Up to
> now I wrote  code in input cells of a mathematica notebook, added
> explanations in text cells, marked the input cells with package code
> as initialization cells to create the .m file automatically upon
> saving the notebook. I never looked into the .m files themselves.
> Should one / could one import the notebook (or the .m file) to a
> workbench project, or copy it to a work space directory, or work
> directly on the files in the user base directory, or what else ... ?

all this is possible, there is an import wizard that will import
notebooks and create package files from them but you can just as well
copy the notebook files to the project directory of a new project and
keep editing the notebook and create the package file automatically.
This approach might need some more work to get the configuration right
but you will need to learn only those features of the workbench that you
want to use. I would recommend to create a dummy application project to
see how the directory structure and configuration files need to be set
up for the workbench utilities to work alright. You could also crate a
new application project an then just replace the templates that are
generated with your already existing files, if these meet the suggested

If you are only writing pure mathematica package files, the added value
of the workbench is IMHO limited, it really can help you to save a lot
of work only if you either plan to provide documentation that you want
to integrate into the Documentation Center or if you want to combine
mathematica code with java, webMathematica and/or probably
GridMathematica (which I have no experience with). It also is nice when
you are using or plan to use additional tools like a version control
system or a ticket/task repository which all can be integrated with
appropriate eclipse plugins.

Files will always be stored in the "workspace", a special directory that
contains your project directories but the workbench takes care that
$Path is set so that you can load the package you are developing. You
can configure the workspace to be at any location you want to. The
workbench has an application tool view which lets you export your
application/package with a mouseclick to e.g. the user base directory so
you can test it without the workbench environment.

> Are there tutorials deeling with this problem?

there is documentation for the workbench and it also deals with the
import of existing projects. Some of the material is not really
exhaustive though. If you consider to work with the workbench, I would
recommend to also take a few hours to get familiar with eclipse.



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