[IPython-dev] Just looking for feedback before PR

Brian Granger ellisonbg at gmail.com
Sun Nov 18 17:06:50 EST 2012


Here is a bit of background on the heading cells.  We initially tried to do
everything with restructured text.  That didn't work because of how rst
headings are always relative.  This means we couldn't render cells one by
one.  There was also the problem that the rst rendering involved a call to
the server.

Thus we went with markdown for cells, mainly because of how headings were
handled.  But as we began to use markdown, we realized that its approach to
headings was a bit too flexible.  We really wanted the ability for
notebooks to have formal structure (nested heading levels).  There are a
number of usage cases for this:

* Exporting to formats that also have nested heading levels (latex, html,
* Enabling entire sections/subsections in a notebook to be moved, copied,
collapsed, etc.  That would be impossible to do with headings embedded
inside markdown cells that have other content.
* Heading cells are common enough that it is nice to be able to do them
without the markdown syntax.

Hope this explains our choices a bit more.



On Sat, Nov 17, 2012 at 10:35 AM, Carl Smith <carl.input at gmail.com> wrote:

> Can I ask again; is it really not possible to get rid of the header cells?
> I'm not sure what information a header1 cell provides that a h1 tag
> wouldn't, but couldn't that information go inside html comment style markup
> or something? Like slideshow markup.
> It seems like the UX would be a lot nicer if there were only two kinds of
> cell, code cells and note cells. Note cells would just be Markdown cells,
> and headers would be done with Markdown inside them. There'd be no raw
> cells, you'd just use pre tags, which displays raw text without
> highlighting already.
> You could then have Ctrl-M>M be the Mode shortcut, and have it toggle a
> cell between code mode and note mode.
> Surely reducing nine cell types down to two is more important than making
> it easier to convert to LaTex?
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Brian E. Granger
Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo
bgranger at calpoly.edu and ellisonbg at gmail.com
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