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The Mathematica Documentation Center
Posted on: Friday, April 18, 2008 at 07:41 PM UT Notebook Version
It is not a very simple matter to add new material to the Mathematica Documentation Center. One key reason is that Wolfram Research has not yet released tools to doing this. One suite of such tools will reside within Wolfram WorkBench, and the version of WorkBench that contains these is currently in Beta. A set of tools will also be included in the next version of A WorkLife FrameWork.
The Documentation Center tools included in Wolfram WorkBench require that your locus for you work be centered n WorkBench: this is the habit of some Mathematica programmers and this services that community. The tools that will be included in A WorkLife FrameWork are strictly Mathematica-centric and allow you to keep your work's focus within Mathematica. In this way the two different toolsets are helpfully complementary.
The tools contained in the next version of A WorkLife FrameWork will enable you to convert arbitrary notebooks into a form that can automatically be placed in the Documentation Center—this includes documentation for packages that you write and wish to distribute to others. But it also includes documents—in the absence of a package—that you want to distribute so that people can read and interact with them through the Documentation Center.
The Mathematica Documentation Center is actually a very plastic environment for adding material to Mathematica, but to do so you currently need to understand quite a bit of arcana that pertains to Paclets and to the formatting and tagging of notebooks. There have been many questions over the past year or so on MathGroup on how to format and prepare material for the Mathematica Documentation Center. And in the course of creating tools for the next version of A WorkLife FrameWork I have learned quite a bit about how to do this. So, in the interest of helping people at least get started on this, I wrote up some of what I have learned so that I could share it with the larger Mathematica community. I have placed this write-up in a Mathematica notebook which you can download from here: http://www.scientificarts.com/worklife/notebooks/
I hope that this is helpful to folks....
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