[IPython-dev] using the notebook for teaching?

W Gong wen.g.gong at gmail.com
Thu Dec 6 14:41:40 EST 2012

I am not suggesting that the core dev team to do everything user asks for,
but to illustrate how to balance needs of advanced vs novice users.
To me, ipynb is a killer app for learning/teaching/researching users.
If one can lower the entry-barrier, it will encourage user's adoption.

On Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 11:05 AM, Thomas Kluyver <takowl at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 6 December 2012 15:28, W Gong <wen.g.gong at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ipynb could be made more user-friendly, if new buttons are added to the
>> tool bar,
>> e.g. to add an youtube link, the button prompts for url or the code, then
>> auto insert a cell:
>> from IPython.display import YouTubeVideo
>> YouTubeVideo('MTx6ha6fRwo')
> I think the challenge is that there is an enormous wealth of things you
> can do in the notebook - far more than we can put into the toolbar, and
> it's pretty heavy even for a hierarchical menu (see the magics menu in the
> Qt console). Is embedding Youtube videos so important to so many users that
> it merits a valuable toolbar button?
> What's interesting is how we integrate the notebook as a way to edit and
> run code, with the notebook as a rich text presentation system. Embedding a
> video needn't go through a Python cell, but at present that's simpler than
> putting the relevant HTML into a Markdown cell. From the other direction,
> we're now talking about ways to embed variable references into Markdown
> cells, and definining a syntax to do that. I get the feeling we're missing
> a coherent approach here.
> To spark discussion, maybe what we need is something like a 'template
> cell', that's in between a client-side Markdown cell and a code cell:
> - Edit syntax something like Jinja2 templates, with fields that you can
> fill in, loops, if clauses, and so on. We're thinking of using Jinja2
> anyway, so let's not invent our own templating language.
> - When you execute it (shift-enter), it is sent to the kernel to render
> the template.
> - Python objects used in fields are rendered according to our display
> protocol, i.e. _repr_html_() will be preferred.
> - In the interface, the rendered output replaces the editor (like a
> Markdown cell) until you double-click to edit it again.
> Thoughts?
> Thanks,
> Thomas
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- Wen
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