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Easy Toolbox Initialization with (retired!) Steve Eddins

My erstwhile colleague Steve Eddins recently retired from MathWorks after a long and illustrious career. And once he was finally free of the office, what did he long to do? Maybe a few rounds of golf every morning? Or paddle slowly down the Charles River in a canoe stocked with beer, chips, and a copy of his favorite book? No, he wanted to knock out some MATLAB code and write about it. Just like the good old days!

I know all this because Steve has already set up a personal MATLAB blog: Matrix Values.

I was especially interested in his second post, Initialize a MATLAB Toolbox. In it, he describes the process of first adapting, then automating our toolbox design guidelines. You may remember a post about those guidelines that we did last year: What Is a Toolbox? New Guidelines for Authors.

Take a look at Steve's post. He does a nice job summarizing the toolbox design document and then talking you through the parts that he finds valuable as well as the parts he doesn't need to worry about. And since he is a self-avowed automation junkie, he wasn't going to stop until he wrote some tooling to help him out. Steve puts it like this:

As I learned during my MathWorks career, a set of recommended practices is much more likely to take hold if it can be automated.

Amen to that. And I have good news! You too can take advantage of his helpful automation, because he's sharing it with the world in general and you in particular. You can find the tool he wrote, inittbx, on the File Exchange and GitHub.

Steve uses many of our guidelines, and also throws in a few wrinkles of his own. I like the checklist file, He says it "reminds me of all the steps needed to complete the job." It's a lighter weight approach than opening a bunch of issues for yourself.

So how does it work? Well, I'm about to start work on my magnum opus, a Sudoku solver called the Sudokunator. All I have to do is ...

> inittbx("Sudokunator")

and I'm on my way with beautiful standards-compliant folders and files, all ready to go. Now all I have to do is, you know, write the darn code.

So thanks, Steve, for making yourself useful even as you ride off into the sunset!

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