Documentation Center (Mathematica Help) problem and solution

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dr DanW

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Aug 18, 2007, 5:47:54 AM8/18/07
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I have had a lot of problems with Documentation Center in Mathematica
6 (the local version, not the online). If I type in a function name
that is not a literal match (ie, evaluate instead of Evaluate),
nothing would happen. Worse, occasionally I would open the
Documentation Center and crash the kernel and front end, losing all my
work since the last save.

I was not a happy consumer.

I finally tracked down the cause and a solution. I love the package
CleanSlate because it lets me have a clean run of my working notebook
without worrying about previously set values, and it is quicker than
quitting and restarting the kernel. I have the statement
CleanSlate[Verbose->False]; at the start of almost every notebook I
work on.

Therein lies the problem. CleanSlate wipes out just about every
context in the $ContextPath, including one called PacletManager`,
which apparently controls the search engine. I have created the
following function to put in a autoloaded package (or init.m)

SafeCleanSlate[opts___?
OptionQ]:=CleanSlateExcept["PacletManager`",opts,Verbose->False]

Now I put SafeCleanSlate[]; at the top of all my notebooks, and I am
now much happier with the new help system, although I do still miss
the old one...


Chris Chiasson

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Aug 20, 2007, 3:36:09 AM8/20/07
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It reminds me of what Brian Hook said (I think it was him, anyway):
What you really wanted, instead of a new girlfriend, was your old
girlfriend with a new dress and a makeover.


Albert

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Aug 21, 2007, 4:58:03 AM8/21/07
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Maybe it is worth to mention "WebServices`" which is another Context
that is on $ContextPath by default in version 6. You might have similar
problems with any kind of web service if you don't also except
"WebServices`" from CleanSlate...

albert

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