[IPython-dev] ipython notebook

Fernando Perez fperez.net at gmail.com
Tue Apr 24 01:56:28 EDT 2012

Hi Ralf,

On Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 2:32 PM, Ralf Hemmecke <hemmecke at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am currently looking for a notebook interface to the computer algebra
> system fricas (http://fricas.sourceforge.net/).
> I was wondering whether it would be easily possible to use the power of
> the notebook that comes with ipython for this purpose.
> I expect that the string that is entered into the notebook is sent (as
> is) to a fricas process running in the background. The output (just
> ASCII) could be either displayed directly or one can let fricas output
> tex or mathml and display that.
> Is the notebook suited for this purpose or is it too much tied to python?

Indeed, it would be possible to do so; recently an enterprising user
did just that as a test with Ruby:


He said it was a bit of a hack; I haven't looked at the code.  But the
point is that it's possible, even if doing so may take a bit of work.

The notebook file format itself doesn't have any python-specific
dependencies.  As for such an app, you will most likely write parts in
Python, simply because that will be a little easier and gives you lots
of infrastructure for free.

Unfortunately we haven't had the time to write a detailed design
document that explains how the entire architecture works for someone
in your position.  So I'm afraid that making progress will require a
fair amount of reading the source and experimenting.  But don't be
afraid to ask here!

>From our perspective, this is *absolutely* something we'd like to see
out there.  Furthermore, as you make progress we may find ways of
refactoring our code to make your task easier.

Just today I was talking to a statistician friend and we were
discussing the possibility of an R notebook frontend.  That's also
something that would be great to have, and likely very useful.



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