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Re: How to change the directory for the docs?

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  • Subject: [mg115343] Re: How to change the directory for the docs?
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2011 03:38:42 -0500 (EST)

A wiki, controlled by WRI or outside, could be valuable. But not at the 
expense of the built-in documentation, where, for example:

   - the F1 key or the >> link in a ?name output in a notebook takes you 
directly to the relevant reference page;

   - you can directly execute input in a doc page, as is or when you 
change it in place; and

   - you can copy input cells or groups directly into your notebook, 
without any conversion difficulties.

Moreover, my experience with on-line help for other programs is that the 
browser itself, however minimal, wastes valuable screen space. The 
economy of the Documentation Center window surpasses that of any on-line 
docs I've used.

On 1/7/2011 4:07 AM, kj wrote:
> In<ifuorh$cbi$1 at>  telefunkenvf14<rgorka at>  writes:
>> On Jan 3, 2:57 am, kj<no.em... at>  wrote:
>>> In<ifpk99$bs... at>  David Bailey<d... at>  writes:
>>>> It might help to explain why you want to do this. There is probably an
>>>> easier way to achieve whatever it is you want to do.
>>> Well, if you want to know, I've copied all the Mathematica
>>> documentation notebooks to a personal directory, so that I can
>>> modify them at will.  The ultimate goal is to supplement these
>>> notebooks with important information that they lack, and to fix
>>> factual errors in them.  I want all the built-in Mathematica help
>>> facilities to point to these annotated notebooks rather than to
>>> the "official" ones.
>>> ~kj
>> Now I'm intrigued... Can we make a wiki version?!?
> That's exactly right.  In fact, I think that something similar to
> a wiki should be the standard way to document all software.  The
> difference from a wiki is that the various strands of contribution
> (including the original documentation) are kept separate.  The
> viewer can choose to turn on or off strands by individual authors.
> I've seen something similar to this done before (Postgres, Perl),
> but it has not caught on for some reason, despite the general
> proliferation of wikis.
>> (Guessing WRI would
>> not be happy with this---umm...copy rights?)
> That was my guess too.  Judging by the tight-fistedness of their
> documentation, I can guess that they'd want absolute control over
> anything that could be construed as documentation for Mathematica.
> Avoiding hassles from WRI's lawyers is the main reason I have not
> set up a wiki-like site like the one described above.  (And I
> wouldn't be surprised on bit if WRI has squashed similar efforts
> before.)
> ~kj

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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