I'm having difficulties assigning ::usage in a Mathematica package for symbols in a list or dataset, that will only be defined later in a `Private` subcontext.

In `Private` I have something like this:

list = Dataset[
  {<|"name" -> "Alpha", "age" -> 123|>, 
   <|"name" -> "Beta", "age" -> 456|>, 
   <|"name" -> "Gamma", "age" -> 789|>

Do[Evaluate[Symbol["my" <> list[i, "name"]]] = list[i, "age"], {i, 1, Length[list]}];

How can I now generically specify a ::usage for the symbols myAlpha, etc. before they are even generated? I would like to, as usual, do something like this right after BeginPackage[]

Do[Evaluate[Symbol["my" <> list[i, "name"]]]::usage = "", {i, 1, Length[list]}];

but now obviously list is not yet defined. Can I somehow set this delayed or on hold or anything until the dataset was generated? I couldn't get it working so far.

Thanks alot,


  • $\begingroup$ Will list be created before you start defining any of my* symbols? In which context should they be created? $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Sep 2, 2016 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ If you need to create the symbols in a specific context, prepend that context to their name (I mean the string in Symbol). $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Sep 2, 2016 at 12:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Kuba Yes, list is created before the my* symbols, just as stated in my question. I'd like them all to be in context Private, but use ::usage to be able to auto-complete the my* symbols with their correctly assigned values ("age" in this case). $\endgroup$
    – T_202
    Sep 2, 2016 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ I'm assuming autocomplete in a notebook. So they are not private, they are meant to be Package` . Then, as Szabolcs suggested use "MyPackage`my"<>. $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Sep 2, 2016 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ Is that what you need? $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Sep 5, 2016 at 5:43

1 Answer 1


Is this what you want?

I've changed your Evaluate[Symbol["my" <> list[i, "name"]]] =... to something more flexible. Read more in: How do you programatically load data into symbols?



list = {<|"name" -> "Alpha", "age" -> 123|>, <|"name" -> "Beta", 
    "age" -> 456|>, <|"name" -> "Gamma", "age" -> 789|>};

  "Test`my" <> #name, StandardForm, Function[name, name = #age, HoldFirst]
] & /@ list;

  "my" <> #name, StandardForm, Function[name, name::usage = "test", HoldFirst]
] & /@ list; 
  (*notice that the second time they are mentioned they will be found on $ContextPath*)

privateSymbol = {myAlpha, myGamma};



enter image description here

I've dropped Dataset till this problem is solved: Problems with Dataset's querying on a fresh Kernel

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks alot @Kuba, that helps and also thanks for pointing out the bug with the Datasets! With respect to this, hopefully this also helped others. $\endgroup$
    – T_202
    Sep 12, 2016 at 8:20

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