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Editor’s Pick: Maple IDE Reduces Development Time

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

Maplesoft’s Maple technical computing and documentation environment is one of the handful of engineering, scientific, and research tool suites that resides on a different plane than the rest. LabVIEW, Nastran, and SPICE are just some of the others hanging out with Maple at the Mt. Olympus technical lab. Part of the reason for this is its great depth and breadth, and part of it is because you can access the Maple language and develop your own algorithms, scripts, and extensions. With the recent introduction of Maple IDE, rolling your own Maple code sounds like it just got a lot easier.

Maple IDE is a new integrated development environment for the Maple programming language. Now, the Maple language is same language you use to write your Maple scripts and algorithms. This language, which the company says has been used to develop more than 90% of the algorithms in Maple itself, has the Maple mathematical data structures and concepts as well as a library of commands and algorithms. It’s what provides support for writing multi-threaded, parallel programs.

So, what does this thing called Maple IDE have in it for you? At its most elemental level, it has tools for writing, debugging, and managing Maple projects. That is, it’s intended to make it easier for you to create, manage, update, and simply understand your Maple code. All of that, of course, means you should be able to finish your projects faster with fewer errors when using Maple IDE.

Maple IDE does seem to have a number of handy features to make life simpler. For example, you can browse and search through source hierarchies for areas to work on. And it highlights and formats code based on the syntactic and semantic properties of your code.

When you’re working with it, Maple IDE has what are called Launching Wizards. These customizable wizards let you run a Maple application from within Maple IDE itself. A Content Assist feature lets you select and insert existing code elements to complete your partially entered code.

Other capabilities Maple IDE provides include automated refactoring, which lets you rename Maple elements such as modules, procedures, and variables across all your source files with one operation. It also has source code validation tools that hunt down errors and potential problems in your code for you. And you can create code templates of commonly used code fragments.

Maple IDE works with Maple 16 and 17 running under Linux, Mac, and Windows. It leverages technology from DigiArea and is based on the Eclipse plug-in extension framework and services platform. Maplesoft says that Maple IDE provides an industry-standard environment for medium- to large-scale Maple development projects, but, from what I can see, it appears applicable to any size project. It’s inexpensive too, say about as much as a weekend’s ATM withdrawal.

You can learn more about Maple IDE from the link over there. Make sure to click the link to the 6-minute, 40-second video to see it in action. This sounds like good stuff.

Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

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About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@digitaleng.news.