[IPython-dev] Thoughts on the notebook format for version control

MinRK benjaminrk at gmail.com
Sun Nov 6 12:35:40 EST 2011

On Sun, Nov 6, 2011 at 05:07, Pablo Winant <pablo.winant at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> This conversation has reminded me of a nice and simple feature I have been
> missing when switching from the Sage notebook to the the IPython one.
> Attached to each Sage notebook is a DATA directory where the user can save
> files associated with the notebook. For instance the statistical data
> associated to the exploration code. Then notebooks can be exported/imported
> with the DATA directory so that everything is really self-contained and
> reproducible. Technically, I think everything is basically stored in a
> compressed archive.
> This behaviour is a bit different from the way IPython currently stores
> its notebook but it is not that far from having a cache directory (or a
> file) included with the saved notebook so I thought it could pertain to the
> same discussion.

I think we see this sort of thing as being *easier* with IPython, because
it's just the filesystem.  If you put the notebook file in the folder with
your data / scripts, you can just use them, track them all together with
git, etc.  Taking an existing project, and using it with the notebook
should consist only of starting to use the notebook in the directory with
the rest of your stuff.

We also do not see notebooks as being 1:1 with data / python files, rather
having the idea of a 'project', which is essentially a directory / repo,
with code, data files, notebooks, etc.  The current IPython notebook
frontpage is the notebook listing for a single *project*, and in general
you will be able to use multiple projects, but for now the server can only
handle one at a time, and doesn't give you a view /interface for anything
in that location other than notebooks, or changing the active project.

> Pablo
> On Sun, Nov 6, 2011 at 12:22 PM, Thomas Kluyver <takowl at gmail.com> wrote:
>> One thought prompted by Fernando's comparison between .ipynbo files and
>> .pyc files - Cache files cluttering up my working directory can be an
>> annoyance, and this is why Python 3.2 has changed to using a __pycache__
>> directory for .pyc files. If we're splitting out output into separate
>> files, it might be best to put them somewhere else - perhaps in the profile
>> directory, or in a subfolder if we still want it to be simple to add them
>> to version control.
>> Thomas
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