[IPython-dev] Some notebook thoughts

Torsten Marek shlomme at gmx.net
Mon Jul 4 14:08:42 EDT 2005

Hash: SHA1

Hi all,

I read with great pleasure that XML has been taken instead of Python as the
markup language for Notebook. It's not that the same goal could not be reached
with Python, but XML gives you a whole lot of stuff for free when it comes to

I added some user stories to the wiki and I'd like to elaborate on them more

When I thought about the notebook GUI, I doubted that any existing text editor
widget might be flexible enough to be used for what I had in mind. There are
"normal" text areas (In [xx]s and Out [xx]s), but there are a lot of other
widgets (I just call them like that, but a fancy term like notebooklets might be
better), for any kind of picture, tables, comments, rich texts, code fragment
editors, pretty-printed data structures, other widgets, MathML ... you name it.

For each widget type (and In and Out would also be widgets), there is a
node-type in the markup file and a handler in the renderer (be it a static one
to HTML, LaTeX, PDF, SVG or a GUI interface). The mininum interface would be
handlers for In, Out and a handler for stuff from print statements.

For a GUI that supports all kinds of widgets, a canvas widget like OGL (from Wx)
or QCanvas (from Qt) might be a better choice. However, for a small
implementation, Scintilla might be enough, as long as the underlying
architecture is flexible enough.

Am I making any sense with that or is that too far out in the woods?



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Torsten Marek <shlomme at gmx.net>
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