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With the release of 13, Wolfram seems to have become more committed to deploying for users the tools needed for paclet development. I am interested creating paclets now, rather than packages. I have been reviewing the documentation that came out with 13, and it seems understandable to me with perhaps two exceptions:

Creating documentation: There is a paclet which provides tools for this. And there is a tutorial called ‘Documentation Tools Quick Start’. That tutorial explains what each pallete button does, but gives no overall instruction. It’s like a book on building houses that describes what hammers and saws do. Can anyone recommend the best way to build documentation in the Wolfram style? Is there any other educational material?

Workbench: Using Wolfram Workbench for building paclets is recommended by Wolfram developers. Is Workbench 2 as an Eclipse plug-in still the way to go? Or has Mathematica 13 provided a better methodology?

Any advice on developing paclets is appreciated.

Cross posted here

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  • $\begingroup$ As can be seen from this thread on Community, we may come to the conclusion that the Wolfram Workbench plug-in for Eclipse IDE is more or less discontinued (or at least it has been given rather low priority). $\endgroup$
    – gwr
    Sep 16, 2022 at 17:20

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The Creating Paclets tutorial is currently (Jan. 2022) the primary piece of documentation available in the system that goes through the overall process, but does not cover documentation authoring in detail.

Authoring documentation

We're working to improve the documentation that is available in the main system and that covers this topic for v13.1, but for the time being the documentation distributed for the Wolfram Workbench includes tutorials describing how to use the older edition of DocumentationTools available in the Workbench. You may be interested in these:

The older DocumentationTools is very similar in functionality to the new DocumentationTools, so much of what is described in these tutorials should translate easily.

You may also be interested in this Wolfram Technology Conference 2021 presentation by Brian Van Vertloo, head of our documentation software team:

In the video, starting around the ~9 minute mark Brian begins the portion of the presentation that walks through the standard documentation authoring actions.

Paclet development

Regarding the general question of how paclet development should be done, much of the functionality that had exclusively been in Wolfram Workbench is being modernized and made part of the main system. In version 13.0, that meant the addition of the PacletTools and DocumentationTools packages.

Going forward, these tools are the recommended way to create and develop paclets. The following PacletTools` functions cover common parts of the paclet development process:

  • The CreatePaclet function automates the process of generating an initial paclet directory containing a valid PacletInfo.wl file.

  • The PacletDocumentationBuild function will transform your documentation 'authoring' notebooks into their final built form. It can also be used to build standalone HTML documentation.

  • The PacletBuild function will both build your documentation, and create a .paclet file containing the complete contents of your paclet, which may be shared with others and installed using PacletInstall["/path/to/YourPaclet.paclet"].

Finally, there is also the presentation I gave at WTC '21 which describes these tools in more detail:

Let me know if these resources were able to answer the questions you have, and if you run into any further issues.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hey Connor! Thanks for the info and welcome. Hope you keep coming around, I might have some paclet questions in the near future. $\endgroup$
    – Chris K
    Feb 1, 2022 at 19:26
  • $\begingroup$ Big +1 for the answer. Great that you are here, Connor! $\endgroup$ Feb 1, 2022 at 19:31
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, Connor. Both for the answer and for the packet functionality. I am very excited about paclets! $\endgroup$ Feb 1, 2022 at 19:39
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks you all for the warm welcome! I'm looking forward to sticking around and helping support paclet authors. :) $\endgroup$ Feb 1, 2022 at 21:31

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