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Re: Transition to Wolfram Workbench

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  • Subject: [mg107762] Re: [mg107707] Transition to Wolfram Workbench
  • From: "E. Martin-Serrano" <eMartinSerrano at>
  • Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 07:46:41 -0500 (EST)


May I ask which version of Workbench do these directions apply to?

E. Martin-Serrano

-----Original Message-----
From: John Fultz [mailto:jfultz at] 
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2010 7:53 AM
To: mathgroup at
Subject: [mg107762] [mg107741] Re: [mg107707] Transition to Wolfram Workbench

If take your notebook and you do...

* File->Save As...
* Choose "Mathematica Package" under the file type
* Save as any .m file...but not using the same name as your .nb file
your .nb file is already writing a companion package, and so will keep 
destroying and recreating the like-named package every time you save your 

You'll now end up with a package file which has some interesting properties.

* If you open it in Mathematica, it looks much like a notebook, even
the cell structure and most of the properties of the notebook.

* If you open it in Workbench (or any text editor), it will be completely 
readable, and all of that work you put into commenting your code in Text
will *still* be there in clearly readable comments.

* If you decide to make changes in Workbench (or any text editor), it will
pretty clear how to do so without destroying any structure that would allow
to reopen the package in the Mathematica front end and continue to see the

When we designed the package editor in Mathematica (i.e., the mode you're
put in 
when you open a .m file), one of the chief goals was to have it stream out
to a 
file which is completely readable in any text editor, and which can be 
co-developed using any combination of Mathematica, Workbench, and text
By following this procedure, you'll be making absolutely no irreversible 
commitment to Workbench, and this will allow you to transition as quickly or
slowly (or not at all) as you wish.

Incidentally, something else which you might wish to know...Mathematica has
alternate evaluatable cell style known as "Code" (Alt+8 or Cmd+8).  Code is
Input, but with the following differences...

* Much less automatic formatting (e.g., auto-indent, auto-line-wrap)
* InitializationCell->True is set by default
* Differing background color so you can easily distinguish from Input cells

This can be a much easier and more visible way of tagging package code than
using the Initialization Cell menu item, and it's the style which is used by
package editor for package code by default.


John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

On Wed, 24 Feb 2010 06:18:42 -0500 (EST), Hannes Kessler wrote:
> Hello,
> 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 ... ?
> Are there tutorials deeling with this problem?
> Best regards,
> Hannes Kessler

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