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Is there going to be a Workbench update for Mathematica 10?

Posted 10 years ago

Is Wolfram Workbench going to be updated to work well with Mathematica 10 and the new syntaxes and operators introduced (<| ... |>, @* and /*)?

POSTED BY: Szabolcs Horvát
32 Replies
Posted 8 years ago

Wolfram Workbench is now compatible with Wolfram Language and Mathematica 10 and 11

POSTED BY: Emily Suess

These special measures and workarounds for documentation are not sufficient. With Mathematica 5, EVERY USER could write documentation just by writing a text file. Granted it was not as good as the present paclet documentation. With Mathematica 10.4 one cannot write documentation without Premier Service and then a fair amount of back and forth with Wolfram Support is needed to get various types of files installed. It is not something that the average user would find easily possible. Nor is the method of Faysal very simple, especially if you still don't have Mathematica 9 on your computer.

I know a few users are interested in the debugging features of Workbench. This might especially be true if they are incorporating C or Java code and maybe working for WRI. For myself, I'm satisfied in writing entirely in the Wolfram Language and I've never had any trouble in debugging simply by adding temporary Print statements in routines.

In any case, I believe it would be quite useful to have a version of Workbench, or a separate application just devoted to documentation. And it should be available to ALL users. It might provide a simpler and more robust interface and be more stable over Mathematica versions. One way I like to work is to keep all regular notebooks, package files, stylesheets, palettes and the init.m file in the $UserBaseDirectory application. Then I don't have two copies of these files that I have to keep in sync. I could update them in regular Mathematica and not have to copy the changed files up to Workbench. Workbench would only be used to write the Guide and Symbol pages. However, right now Workbench gets tied in knots if one doesn't deploy at least one non-documentation file so you have to trick it out. WRI could make it much easier for users.

This would plug a hole and fulfill a service, which seems at least to have been implied, for which Mathematica has no competition. Specifically to write applications (not exactly what is often called an app) that contain notebooks, packages, stylesheets, palettes and documentation and then communicate with other people simply by zipping them up and sending it to them. These would be an order of magnitude, at least, better than conventional technical communications because of the active and dynamic nature of the documents. These can be used to develop capability in collaboration, and preserve and distribute work.

And what if the people you want to communicate with don't have Mathematica? Tough! Let them get it, it's not that expensive and in the meantime they can read static, medieval PDF documents that don't compute and probably have lots of typos. For serious work, why not simply bypass CDFs and go for the real thing?

I agree 100%. I have waited far too long for Workbench 3 to be released. It would be quite useful to have a product that worked to create and maintain documentation, as you outline.

There must be an internal version of Workbench that works with 10.x (and probably 11.x) so it can't be that hard to make a stand-alone version for the rest of us.

Mathematica 10 works with Workbench v2.

Using a recommendation from a Wolfram support person here , this is what I do to get it working.

Install Eclipse and Workbench
Install Mathematica 9
Run a debug session from Workbench with Mathematica 9 (adjust the path of the kernel)
Install Mathematica 10
Run a debug session from Workbench with Mathematica 10 (adjust the path of the kernel)
Uninstall Mathematica 9

You can then use Egit with Github for code versioning and Mylyn with Github (for example) for bug tracking, it's a great combination of tools. You can also use Gitlab instead of Github.

I hope Workbench 3 will one day come to official life. You can't get it though as a plugin from the support (if you have a Premier license), it's just as a standalone version. And with the standalone version you can't install all the Eclipse plugins, so I prefer to still use Workbench v2,

POSTED BY: Faysal Aberkane

I've been writing documented Mathematica Applications for a number of years and so applied to Wolfram support to obtain a copy of Workbench 3. It appears that you also have to obtain a couple extra DLL files with it, at least on WIndows. Anyway they sent me a copy and I believe they have distributed it to some other people. So, if you are in serious need you might apply to them. They don't seem to have a regular beta testing program.

I use Workbench only for documentation and don't care much about its debugging and other features. My experience is that it's working fine for documentation with Mathematica 10.1. I did have to remember to set the path within Workbench to the new Mathematica version.

I find that a convenient way to work is to keep only the documentation within Workbench and leave the package files, style sheets and palettes in the deployed application. It's an advantage not to have these files in two places because if you update them in the deployed Application you would have to remember to also update them in Workbench. I can also do some debugging from within Workbench just by updating the deployed code files.

Posted 9 years ago

Are there some news ?

I updated to Mathematica 10.1 but Wolfram Workbench (Version: 2.0 Build: 126) still does not work !!

Workbench is able to run mathKernel but the error msg "The Mathematica Notebook front end could not be launched ...." pop ups.

Here is ps output:

ps -ef |grep Wolfram
  501   585   191   0 10:04AM ??         0:09.05 /Applications/Wolfram -psn_0_221238
  501   592   585   0 10:05AM ??         0:02.05 /Applications/ -mathlink /Users/msalese/WolframWorkspaces/Base/T3/T3.nb
  501   595   592   0 10:05AM ??         0:01.09 /Applications/ -sandbox -noinit -pwfile /Applications/ -wstp -mathlink -linkprotocol SharedMemory -linkconnect -linkname 6heta_shm
  501   600   592   0 10:05AM ??         0:01.07 /Applications/ -wstp -mathlink -linkprotocol SharedMemory -linkconnect -linkname jzfp5_shm
  501   781   610   0 10:06AM ttys000    0:00.00 grep Wolfram

POSTED BY: Massimo Salese
Posted 9 years ago

Massimo Workbench2 doesn't work with 10.0, 10.0.1 and 10.0.2. Why would you expect different results with 10.1?

POSTED BY: Gordon Coale
Posted 9 years ago

Sorry Gordon,

you are right !!!! Perdon, it was a silly question.

So any info about Wolfram Workbench 3.0 ?

POSTED BY: Massimo Salese

If I am thinking about this correctly, the Eclipse editor uses a configuration file or file(s) that can be configured with an ini or xml file. The details needed by Eclipse for a given language to support auto-completion and syntax coloring were defined in these configuration files. I was wondering if configuration files that included syntax for Mathematica 9, 10 and 10.1 were available. This would not enable debugging - but would still be useful.

POSTED BY: Doug Kimzey
Posted 9 years ago

Doug if I recall correctly there are 4 versions of workbench 2 available. 3 OS level ones that include eclipse, and then an eclipse plug-in one for those with Eclipse pre-installed. If you understand eclipse plug-ins it should be possible to identify the relevant files you need to update for V10 syntax colouring.

POSTED BY: Gordon Coale

In the absence of Workbench is there a straight-forward way to profile code?

POSTED BY: Mark Tuttle

Mathematica 10 has many nice new features: the Geometry routines, Associations, not to speak of Tensor routines from Mathematica 9, which I have just begun to explore. Then there is cloud computing, which I don't seem to have access to without major additional expense even though I have Premier Service.

But one major feature that has been taken away is the ability to write documentation with Workbench. There is no Workbench 3 for developers and not even a beta testing program. This is seriously unfair to users. A Workbench for documentation was a major feature of the extra cost of Premier Service and now it has been taken away.

It is my belief that a much larger group of Mathematica users would benefit from an Application and Documentation approach then presently do. It's great for study and research projects. Once you set it up, it's easy to add documentation pages. The Application approach helps to develop and preserve larger bodies of work.

I would like to suggest that WRI restore a functioning Workbench for documentation with Mathematica 10.

I agree. I wasted a lot of time today developing a program using version 10. I had to quit and restart Mathematica numerous times.

POSTED BY: Frank Kampas

I'd like to add my voice to this thread. I got an unreleased Version 3 beta (alpha??) some time ago, and I thought that the final version would have been released by this time.

It is my understanding that Workbench is used extensively by Wolfram programmers, so there must be a functioning version in existence. I, for one, would be happy to sign an NDA in order to take part in any beta program available.

I hope someone from Wolfram will comment on this -- better, provide an ETA for Workbench 3.

Since the WL-Plugin was again mentioned several times, let me take the opportunity to say a few words.

The WL-Plugin is the Mathematica Plugin for IntelliJ IDEA and you can find the first announcement on stackexchange here, the initial post in the community here, a detailed description of new features here and the source-code here. As already pointed out the WL-Plugin does indeed support all of the syntax additions that were introduced with the release of Mathematica version 10.0. Prominent examples are the Association brackets <|…|> or for instance RightComposition operator /*.

If you are new to the WL-Plugin or even if you have used it for a while, I strongly encourage you to read the article How to use IDEA effectively with Mathematica code that I published some weeks ago. I know that all the features of IDEA can be a bit overwhelming at first, especially for users that just want to start right away, but the IDE is so powerful that you should invest a small amount of time to get to know the most important things.

Last night I added autocompletion and the documentation-lookup for all new built-in functions in version 10. Furthermore, I added the new file-extensions *.wl and *.wlt so that they are recognised by the WL-Plugin. Together with some minor bug-fixes this will be released in the next week and everyone should get the update-notice automatically through IDEA.

Furthermore, let me respond to this

I hope that the debugger will be implemented soon

I know that there are 4 major things missing in the WL-Plugin: Debugging, Profiling, Documentation-Building and Unit-Testing. What you have to understand is that e.g. the Documentation-Building functionality is part of the WB and not openly accessible through Mathematica. I cannot just use what the WB provides and publish it in an open-source project. A few users might have noticed that the documentation files that come with the WL-Plugin have a different license. I am very grateful that WRI allowed me to use this information but as well as everything that comes with WB, this is property of WRI and I cannot simply copy it into the plugin by re-engineering.

Debugging and Profiling are probably a bit different because this functionality is available in Mathematica too and what I would have to do is to implement a working interface for it: Setting breakpoints in IDEA, controlling execution, etc.. One big hindrance here is that I rarely (in other words never) use these features myself and I’m not very much experienced with it. Therefore, it would need some time so that I can look at these things.

Unit-Testing is now, in version 10, available in Mathematica too, where in former times it was hidden in WB as secret package and was loaded on demand. Now, it is theoretically easily possible to support this in the WL-Plugin.

I'm willing to pay for help to the programmer in order to speed development!

Currently, the limiting factor is time. I’m doing this completely in my free-time and the WL-Plugin is only one of my hobbies. What is interesting and important to me is: how large is the user-base of the WL-Plugin? As you can surely imagine, it makes a difference whether your software is used by 3 or by 300 people, especially when you have to decide what you do with your time.

So what you as users can do is

  • Subscribe to the mailing list so that I (and only I) can see how many active users we have. Additionally, I have a way to keep you informed.
  • Report bugs or make feature requests in the issue tracker. Look for instance at this issue. I doesn’t always has to be a strict bug-report. Here I see how people are using the plugin an what they want.
  • Tell your friends and colleagues about the WL-Plugin! Just spread it to all people you think could be interested.
  • Make sure that I know about things the happen around the plugin. For instance, I only saw this question because someone else pointed me to it.

If you need to get in touch with, now you know who this “programmer” is. It is this guy in the Wolfram Community and this guy at stack exchange.

POSTED BY: Patrick Scheibe
Posted 10 years ago

I get the same problem with my Trial Key, Mathematica and Workbench 2.0 build 126 downloaded from Mathematica User Portal.

Wlplugin seems to be a good alternative, but I need a debugger so I'm stuck !!!

POSTED BY: Massimo Salese

What's Wlplugin? It's really irritating that the problems of Workbench 2.0 with Mathematica 10 have not been addressed. I waste a lot of time having to close and restart Mathematica ever time I want to test out a change in a package.

POSTED BY: Frank Kampas
Posted 10 years ago

Wlplugin is a Mathematica-plugin for IntelliJ IDEA. It works fine , I hope that the debugger will be implemented soon. I'm willing to pay for help to the programmer in order to speed development !

Here is my desktop screenshot on IntelliJ IDEA working on a math-package + Math REPL running

POSTED BY: Massimo Salese
Posted 10 years ago

@Frank - In spite of the lack of comms I know WRI are working on this - as mentioned I have seen a beta of WB3 running on a WRI consultants laptop.

Agree it would be helpful to get a release date from them.

POSTED BY: Gordon Coale

What are the developers at Wolfram Research using?

POSTED BY: Frank Kampas
Posted 10 years ago

Extrapolating from the 1 example noted above I have seen - the WB3 beta.

POSTED BY: Gordon Coale

This is the error I'm getting from Workbench 2.0, Mathematica 10.0.2, 64 bit Windows 8.1 when I try to run a test package:

An internal error occurred during: "Launching test". com.wolfram.jlink.NativeLink.MLOpenString(Ljava/lang/String;[Ljava/lang/String;)

Is this problem other people have been having? Has anyone figured out a simple work-around?

POSTED BY: Frank Kampas
Posted 10 years ago

I have just installed WorkBench 2 and was having a play and have the same issues with support for v10 syntax etc. I have packages full of associations which it doesn't like, but will run in MMA 10.0.1 and 10.0.2

The good news is the packages were developed by a WRI consultant who was actively using a beta of the next version of Workbench - so at least we know its under development.....

POSTED BY: Gordon Coale
Posted 10 years ago

My notebook got so large that I had to refactor the code and use workbench. My problem is a bit different and I have already opened a support case - #1211976. I am going to have to go back to v9 since there doesn't seem to be much movement on getting Workbench working again and I have changes I need to make to my notebook.

Does anyone else have the problem where the line numbers don't change when you scroll in Workbench?

POSTED BY: Tim Heger

There are alternatives to Workbench. The simplest one is a plain text editor such as Vim or Sublime Text. Both of these provide syntax highlighting, so they make it easier to work with package files (which are plain text files).

And there's the actively developed Mathematica plugin for IntelliJ IDEA: It provides excellent syntax highlighting (better than any text editor would be capable of since this tool can actually parse Mathematica code), a structure view for easy navigation, templates, auto-completion, documentation tooltips, and other advanced editing features.

What it does not provide at the moment is: built-in debugger, profiler or unit tests.

POSTED BY: Szabolcs Horvát
Posted 10 years ago


Thanks for your information - I downloaded IntelliJ and the plugin and got it up and going. It took me a bit to get the hang of Workbench so that when I clicked "Run" it picked up all the various packages I had created and then launched the front end.

Can you point me to instructions on how to do the same thing with IntelliJ? I've imported my project into IntelliJ but can't figure out how to get it to launch Mathematica from the IntelliJ UI.

Thanks again!


POSTED BY: Tim Heger

Hi Tim,

unfortunately this is not implemented yet. To make the Run button work, I have to implement a stable way of opening and managing a Mathematica connection from within IDEA for all 3 big operation systems. While this looks like it can be done in reasonable time, it will definitely require a thoughtful plan from the start, because I want to use this later for Unit Tests too.

Currently, I'm working (and I'm almost finished) on making a polished version of a Structure View, I have finished and I'm now testing Live Templates, Surround With and, very new, an Automatic Bugreporter and I started the framework for Code Inspections.

Although the Run button does not work, you can still test your packages easily. The full path of your package folder can be brought into Mathematica by dragging it from the IDEA project view into the notebook. Then, you add this to the $Path variable with

AppendTo[$Path, "/your/project/folder"]

and after this you can load your packages as usual using << or Get.

Finally, the version of the IDEA plugin which is downloaded automatically is not the latest hot stuff. If you want to test the dev version, just uninstall your current Mathematica plugin, download the plugin from the development branch here

and install it by going in IDEA to Settings -> Plugins -> Install from Disk.

Finally (really the last finally) I would appreciate if you read the Documentation here, try and test everything carefully and report issues back.

If you have specific questions, for instance how to use the latest features which are not in the documentation yet, don't hesitate to ping me in the stackexchange chat.

Cheers, Patrick (halirutan)

POSTED BY: Patrick Scheibe

I get the same problem with my installation, also OS X 10.9. I also saw that I had not used Workbench in a couple years. As an IDE, it needs a bit of work. At last year's WTC, I heard about a minor update to Workbench, but it may have only been an internal build.

For 99% of users, Workbench is unnecessary. However, for building large apps, it is really useful. Let's hope that there is a fix for the current problem, and a better solution for developing large packages (etc.) in the near future.

Bernd and George,

You are not the first people to encounter a problem launching Mathematica 10 from recent Wolfram Workbench. It seems to be erratic as to which computers and which projects.

Requests; please send this information to

1) Under the Wolfram Workbench menu, About Wolfram Workbench item, the window shows a version number. Please send that. Also send the "Build" number if one is shown.

2) Try changing the path to Mathematica in the Workbench preferences from Default to the explicit full path. Do this even if the default value shown is correct. This is known to have helped in one case. Include in your email whether this helped.

3) The actual text of the error message, if any, and the symptoms.

4) And of course, please include the Mathematica license number or Activation Key and the operating system level.

Thank you.

POSTED BY: Bruce Miller

OK. I sent the information, along with a notebook with SystemInformation[].

I made a toy project in Workbench 'fresh', so there should be no issue with legacy issues.

Posted 10 years ago

Opening and debugging notebooks does not seem to work anymore with Mathematica 10 on OS X 10.9. When I try to open a notebook from Workbench, the notebook opens in Mathematica, but after a short while, Workbench displays a "Mathematica Notebook Launch" error. When I try to debug, I get the same error and the Workbench console shows "Start Debug Session\nTerminated". In Mathematica, I can not get the packages from my Workbench project, because the $Path variable does not include the project path. When I switch back to my Mathematica 9 installation using the Workbench preferences, everything works as expected.

POSTED BY: Bernd Barsuhn

Workbench has not been updated in a while, so I'm interested, too. If I understand how workbench works, all the syntax parsing, etc. is handled by Mathematica, and Workbench is just a shell to manage files and add functionality. I haven't tested it yet, but the new syntax in Mathematica 10 should 'just work'. I'd like to see WorkBench "just work" better.

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