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Re: Applications and Packages, WRI Strikes Out!

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  • Subject: [mg131057] Re: Applications and Packages, WRI Strikes Out!
  • From: David Annetts <david.annetts at>
  • Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2013 07:51:29 -0400 (EDT)
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Hi David,

My recollection was that the late Jens-Per Kuska posted to MathGroup how 
to do this.


On 6/06/2013 19:29, David Bailey wrote:
> On 05/06/2013 08:16, djmpark wrote:
>> One usage of Mathematica could be as an integrated research, developmental,
>> educational and communication medium for mathematics and technical subjects.
>> It's great advantages are its active calculation and dynamics and the
>> ability to document (with Workbench) and preserve active usable knowledge.
>> It is an organized method to build up capability. I always thought this was
>> an implied vision and goal for Mathematica but perhaps I am mistaken.
>> The fact is that the Workbench/Application facilities are only just barely
>> adequate and then only with ad hoc methods suggested by WRI people, which
>> either produce error messages (that we are supposed to ignore) or don't work
>> at all, or that require redoing hundreds of pages of documentation! Much of
>> the work has to be done by editing underlying expressions. The whole thing
>> is ill-designed, neglected and shoddily implemented. WRI can add all the
>> doo-dads they want but without the Application capability Mathematica is
>> just a super fancy calculator, dynamic information retriever, and minor
>> programming language for stand-alone results that will be copied out to
>> other media.
> Please note that I have written up a complete method for generating
> package documentation without using the Workbench. If anyone has
> difficulty, please let me know.
> I don't think the workbench will ever really be integrated into
> Mathematica - not least because it can't display the complete
> Mathematica character set!
> I haven't tried the workbench for years, but when I did, I found it used
> a totally different nomenclature - I agree completely with David Park.
> I can't imagine why anyone would want to edit their package files in the
> workbench, when there is a superb package file editor built right in to
> Mathematica! This will read a .m file, display it in StandardForm, let
> you edit it and execute code as if it were a notebook. You can also add
> headings (but not colour), and when you save the result, any output
> cells are discarded and the headings are stored as specially coded
> Mathematica comments. This means the next time you edit the package
> file, the headings come back up again immediately.
> Unless I really want to save the output, I use .m files for almost
> everything. Often I find it is more convenient not to save the output -
> just re-execute the .m file (which needn't hold a package, of course)
> when I re-load it.
> I'm not sure if WRI downplay this feature because the workbench
> 'competes' with it, but honestly, they should forget the workbench, and
> build on Mathematica!
> I know the idea of the workbench is that people can do mixed language
> programming, but I have developed a lot of Java/Mathematica code using
> Notepad++ to edit the Java, and the above mentioned package editor.
> David Bailey

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