[IPython-dev] Re: Leo, IPython and the summer of code

Robert Kern rkern at ucsd.edu
Tue Jul 5 18:32:01 EDT 2005

Edward K. Ream wrote:
>> It does not interact with IPython in the way we need.
> I implied in my original post that more work would be needed.  Suppose 
> you do have some code that you need.  Embedding that code in Leo should 
> be straightforward.

You also implied that that work would be a matter of hours or a day. I'm 
sorry, but that is simply not the case. The bulk of the work, making a 
REPL that interleaves editable rich text and input/output cells, would 
still have to be done. Using Leo for the rest of the infrastructure is 
as likely to hinder as to help.

>> However, we are not looking for a literate programming tool.
> Leo is not _just_ a literate programming tool.  The literate programming 
> features are optional, though I suspect that noweb will, in fact, be 
> quite useful for this project.  In this discussion what is important is 
> that Leo is a very fine notebook, with many general useful features that 
> have nothing to do with LP.

I think we're talking past each other. Leo does not provide a "notebook" 
in the sense that we are using the term. There are other senses of the 
term in which Leo does in fanct provide a very fine notebook.

>> We are looking for a GUI Read-Eval-Print Loop that is embedded in a 
>> rich text document.
> What prevents you from putting that loop in Leo?  Leo's body pane, that 
> is, the body text of each node, is in fact a rich text document.

Nothing prevents us from putting that loop in Leo. What I am suggesting 
is that Leo does not currently provide such a thing. It will not be a 
matter of a day to put it in.

>> 1. We want the shell as part of the GUI.
>> 2. We don't want the user to have to do any markup unless he is doing 
>> something special.
> I see no reason why these goals are incompatible with Leo.

They aren't, but I don't think that what Leo provides is going to be as 
much help in achieving these goals as you are claiming.

>> I do not believe that using Leo as a base for this project is 
>> justified at this time.
> Isn't it a bit hasty to dismiss Leo out of hand?  Without a code base 
> similar to Leo you are likely to spend years of work on the notebook.

I disagree. The project actually has a fairly limited scope.

Another point arguing against using Leo's infrastructure is that we are 
then tied to having this notebook embedded in Leo. That might be fine if 
all we wanted was a standalone application, but I hope that the code we 
develop here can be useful for embedding into other projects as well as Leo.

Robert Kern
rkern at ucsd.edu

"In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
  Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
   -- Richard Harter

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