[IPython-dev] notebook questions

MinRK benjaminrk at gmail.com
Fri Sep 16 17:14:58 EDT 2011

On Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 13:37, Chris Kees <cekees at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> I updated my source on the notebook after I read Fernando's post. Nice
> work! Couple of questions:
> Is there a way to use reST in the text boxes? It seems like it sort of
> works but doesn't get the ::

No, it uses markdown, which is largely similar, if simpler, and much better
suited for
use in a browser.  Indent code blocks by four spaces, and it should
behave nicely.  Or use `<pre>` tags if you just want it monospaced and not

> If I put the notebook safely inside our firewall, would it be
> reasonable to just let 5-10 people use the same server or do you
> foresee problems down the road?

This should be fine, as long as it is acceptable for the 5-10 people to be
running code as the user that launched the server.  Anyone with access to
the server can run arbitrary code on the host as this user.  If this is
acceptable, there should be no problem.  One thing to be careful of is
simultaneously working with a single notebook: You can both be working with
the same file, but saving is destructive.  So if two people open a notebook,
both edit it, and both save it, the later save will clobber the first.

> I've set up a sage server partly for
> that purpose, but having the ipython notebook available could have
> some advantages. For example, we're running a computational mechanics
> seminar where it would be nice to share some simple mpi programs, say
> in the 8-16 processor range. I don't think we can do that in sage yet,
> right?
> In the docs, it talks about the python roundtrip not being guaranteed.
> What about a sage round trip capability for the notebooks?

I don't know about the Sage notebook's file formats, but it is unlikely.
 That doesn't mean that it won't work at all, or even well, but lossless
roundtrip is generally not feasible between file formats with different

> What's the latest recommendation for interactive 3D graphics in the
> notebook, or what direction should I investigate? Probably the most
> straightforward route for me would be to take our existing vtk
> representations that we use with Qt and follow the notebook example on
> the display protocol.  Also, BTW, is there a PySide qt gui example
> somewhere?

The IPython notebook currently has no mechanism for interactive graphics.
All the usual interactive tools should work if you are running the notebook
server *locally*, as their windows will pop up as usual.  You can publish
static HTML, SVG, PNG, or txt representations of objects, but not dynamic
(unless you write the dynamic part into the HTML/JS output).

> Thanks,
> Chris
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