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Topic: Applications and Packages, WRI Strikes Out!
Replies: 11   Last Post: Jun 11, 2013 2:26 AM

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David Bailey

Posts: 714
Registered: 11/7/08
Re: Applications and Packages, WRI Strikes Out!
Posted: Jun 6, 2013 7:23 AM
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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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