[IPython-dev] SWC using IPython Notebook

Fernando Perez fperez.net at gmail.com
Thu Oct 4 17:57:48 EDT 2012


On Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 2:28 PM, Matt Davis <jiffyclub at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thank you for putting together this great tool! (I'll admit to being pretty
> blasé on IPython until you came out with the Notebook.)  We've also got a

It's important to clarify why it took us so long to come out with the
notebook: because we always viewed it as something that we wanted to
be part of a fully coherent architecture.  And we first had to build
that foundation, which took us a *long* time.  Once the foundation was
in place, and with the years of false starts (failures we learned a
lot from), then the notebook could develop naturally and fluidly.
Brian started writing the first notebook code in early summer 2011 and
by August I was demoing it at EuroScipy: that speed of development
would have been impossible if the underlying foundation, architecture
and protocols hadn't been something solid enough to put a heavy load

Hopefully now the payoff of that approach is clear: a unified
experience across clients, the ability to have things like the qt
console or terminal supporting the same syntax, a protocol that
enables third-party uses (the Julia guys just announced publicly
they'll use ipython notebook for Julia  -
https://github.com/JuliaLang/julia/issues/1330), etc.

> PyCon proposal in on the topic of teaching with Notebooks.


> There is already a lot of communication between SWC and the IPython devs so
> none of these requests are exactly news, but here are some things we'd like
> for the teaching side:
> - Integration with pythontutor.com

Min and I are meeting with Philip Guo, its author, in two weeks.
We'll have a good chance to discuss all of this in person.

> - A way for an instructor to make a notebook then strip out code for
> distribution to students (so they can see our annotations but have to type
> their own code).

Very easy addition to nbconvert, and something we've had in mind from
the start (actually with even more complex cases possible, such as
generating both 'homework' and 'solution' versions of a notebook from
a single source file).

> - A way to put hints into Markdown cells, e.g. collapsed by default but
> expandable if students want help.

That's already possible, Matthias had an example lying around that he
wrote for Josh Bloom at Scipy, or maybe it was Stefan... Ping...

> I do pretty much all my in-person teaching with live typing but the slide
> show abilities also look quite cool and I'm sure we'll put those to use too!

For many contexts, the slideshow support will be very useful indeed.



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