[IPython-dev] using the notebook for teaching?

Emmanuelle Gouillart emmanuelle.gouillart at nsup.org
Thu Dec 6 03:45:10 EST 2012

Hi Thomas and Brian,

thank you very much for your answers. I'm glad to know that no format
change is planned for now, and that developers also consider
forward-compatibility to be important.

It will be hard to have everybody use 0.13 during the training: 0.12 is
the version packaged by the latest Ubuntu LTS (12.04) and by the latest
EPD. I do not expect people to be more bleeding-edge than the latest
Ubuntu LTS. Fortunately, the training will be in Spring, hopefully
there will exist a new version of EPD with Ipython 13.

Thanks again,

On Wed, Dec 05, 2012 at 04:32:14PM -0800, Brian Granger wrote:
> Hi,

> Glad you hear you are thinking about using the notebook in this
> capacity.  We think it is a great tool for teaching.  You ask good
> questions about the stability of the notebook format, but I will reply
> to Thomas as well...

> > 0.13 can indeed open v2 notebooks, although it only saves in v3, so it's not
> > practical to use 0.12 and 0.13 together. But we intend to keep compatibility
> > for much longer now - the v3 format was designed to allow much more
> > extension without breaking the ability of 0.13 to read it. This came up in
> > the discussion around standardising the Scipy stack as well. There we said
> > that if we have to break compatibility again, we will need to have an
> > overlap period where IPython can read the new format, but still saves in the
> > old format by default.

> I don't recall this discussion about the notebook format and am
> unaware that we made any such promise.  Do you have a link to the
> discussion?  I neither oppose nor approve of the decision (I haven't
> thought enough about it) at this point, I am just unaware of it and
> want to learn more.

> > Obviously the notebook is still quite young and rapidly developing, but we
> > see the format break from 0.12 to 0.13 as the exception, not the rule. If
> > you decide to use it, make sure everyone starts with at least 0.13.

> Yes.  Right now, the notebook format is quite stable.  But the reason
> we created notebook format versions in the first place is to enable
> the version to change.  While we want to avoid incrementing the
> version, it will happen.  But I want to emphasize that at this point,
> we have no plans of incrementing the version any time soon.  In fact,
> I am not aware of any feature being discussed that would require such
> changing the format.

> Cheers,

> Brian

> > That's great news about the scientific computing curriculum. Good luck with
> > training more people in Python!

> > Best wishes,
> > Thomas

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