2.12.5 Files for Packages
When you create or use Mathematica packages, you will often want to refer to files in a system-independent way. You can use contexts to do this.
The basic idea is that on every computer system there is a convention about how files corresponding to Mathematica contexts should be named. Then, when you refer to a file using a context, the particular version of Mathematica you are using converts the context name to the file name appropriate for the computer system you are on.
Using contexts to specify files.
|<<context` ||read in the file corresponding to the specified context |
|This reads in one of the standard packages that come with Mathematica. || |
The typical sequence of files looked for by <<name`.
|name.mx ||file in DumpSave format |
|name.mx/$SystemID/name.mx ||file in DumpSave format for your computer system |
|name.m ||file in Mathematica source format |
|name/init.m ||initialization file for a particular directory |
|dir/... ||files in other directories specified by $Path |
Mathematica is set up so that <<name` will automatically try to load the appropriate version of a file. It will first try to load a name.mx file that is optimized for your particular computer system. If it finds no such file, then it will try to load a name.m file containing ordinary system-independent Mathematica input.
If name is a directory, then Mathematica will try to load the initialization file init.m in that directory. The purpose of the init.m file is to provide a convenient way to set up Mathematica packages that involve many separate files. The idea is to allow you to give just the command <<name`, but then to load init.m to initialize the whole package, reading in whatever other files are necessary.
|This reads in the file Graphics/init.m, which initializes all standard Mathematica graphics packages. || |