[IPython-dev] notebook questions

Fernando Perez fperez.net at gmail.com
Tue Sep 20 15:28:21 EDT 2011

On Sat, Sep 17, 2011 at 6:27 AM, Jason Grout
<jason-sage at creativetrax.com> wrote:
> Whereas in Sage, a worksheet .sws file is more like the entire directory
> containing code to be executed, supporting files, etc.

Yes, and there's an important reason behind this difference: for us,
being able to type


in a notebook and still getting the 'real' directory listing is very
important.  The notebook is controlling a regular ipython kernel that
works just like the cmd-line ipython, with direct access to local
files, the ability to %run scripts, etc.  We wanted this lightweight,
your-filesystem-is-still-yours model because it's a very natural
worfklow when analyzing data and working with local files.  In
contrast, Sage uses the filesystem for its own execution model, with
temporary directories created for cell execution.  This means that
ls/os.listdir('.') shows this internal filesystem structure.

There are many benefits for Sage with this approach and it's certainly
a valid one, but for our use cases and for fitting naturally with the
command-line ipython, we went with our model instead, that leaves the
filesystem/cwd unmodified, and where a notebook is just one more file
sitting in your working directory.

I hope this clarifies things somewhat.



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