[IPython-dev] notebook questions

Gael Varoquaux gael.varoquaux at normalesup.org
Tue Sep 20 17:56:13 EDT 2011

On Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 11:41:44AM -0700, Fernando Perez wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 8:44 PM, Gael Varoquaux
> <gael.varoquaux at normalesup.org> wrote:

> > It seems to me wrong to go with any other markup language, given that the
> > standard in the Python world in reST. It is hard enough to agree on
> > standards, let us rejoice that there is one.

> I would have hoped for less of a cheap shot coming from you.

I am a bit saddened that you call this a cheap shot. I am giving a user's
point of view that differs from your developper's point of view, but is
definitely a point of view many people will have.

> We've explained (I said it many times at Euroscipy, with lots of
> detail)  that there are *technical* reasons why we weren't able to put
> reST/shpinx integration into the notebook from day one, despite all of
> us desperately wanting it.  We've heard of sphinx before, believe it
> or not.

When I was working at Enthought, in such a situation, Eric Jones would
tell me that I am letting a technical difficulty force a user interface
decision (he had a good sentence for that, but I can't remember it). Of
course, it's a tradeoff: you can put the cost on the developer, or on the
user. Depending on your target audience and the size of your development
team, you choose the right compromise in the tradeoff space.

I still expect that you will get this question many times, just like when
I work with people that I new to Python, they keep asking me why Python
cannot reload modules reliably. This is not the end of the world, but I
do think that it helps to think about usability when make core choices,
and of course balance them with the other parts of the equation. I cannot
make choices for you.



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