[IPython-dev] Some new cell types for describing data analyses in IPy. Notebook

Gabriel Becker gmbecker at ucdavis.edu
Wed Jul 10 14:25:54 EDT 2013


First off I love that other people are joining the conversion. The more
ideas are thrown around the better we all will be!

Using git (or version control in general) for branching is an interesting
idea. I had/have/am considering it but for historical comparisons, which I
view as somewhat conceptually different than alternatives based branching.
I.e. I have reimplemented the *same* code, lets run both versions and
inspect the differences (or hopefully lack thereof!). This is partially
branching, but also partially QA.

git is a Good Thing, and seems to be considered the Right Way (tm) of using
IPython notebook according to the devs. I don't disagree with this; code
belongs in version control and notebooks are code with extra bits attached.

That having been said, there is a far cry between git being the place that
the devs think notebooks *should* live and not having notebooks in git
being *unsupported*. I would argue building actual application features on
git brings us pretty firmly into the latter category.

Without wanting to put words in his mouth, Min seems to agree. According to
my reading of the autosave IPEP he balked at basing the autosave feature
explicitly on git based similar concerns. I feel he made the right choice,
but the same reasoning applied in this case would lead to the same result I
think (not basing features explicitly on git).

He is of course perfectly capable of talking for himself however, so I'll
stop (sorry Min!) and simply speak for myself. I think it would be a
mistake to move from strongly encouraging users to use git or other version
control with their notebooks to actually basing major features* of the
application directly on the assumption that the notebook lives in git with
a specific set of tags/branches/whatever that IPython is going to
programmatically interpret in a certain way.

*Note this is different than things like a "check in my changes" button if
a notebook can tell it is version controlled somehow. At least in my


On Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 9:23 AM, Brian Granger <ellisonbg at gmail.com> wrote:

> Nice idea - some of the branching could be built using git...
> On Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 1:40 AM, Stéfan van der Walt <stefan at sun.ac.za>
> wrote:
> >
> > On 10 Jul 2013 04:33, "Brian Granger" <ellisonbg at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> It would be nice to write a long notebook and then add metadata to the
> >> notebook that indicates that some variables are to be treated as
> >> "templated" variables.  Then we would create tools that would enable a
> >> user to run a notebook over a range of templates:
> >>
> >> for x in xvars:
> >>   for y in yvars:
> >>     for algo in myalgos
> >>     run_notebook('MyCoolCode', x, y, algo)
> >
> > I think it would be feasible to build git-like cell revision tracking on
> top
> > of the linear notebook, especially once widgets are in place. Imagine a
> > per-cell and per-notebook check-in that allows you to swap out different
> > versions of a cell, or different notebook configurations. This can be
> done
> > with a very lightweight abstraction that does not interfere with the
> > underlying notebook structure at all (in fact, I'd just use git as the
> > actual backend, and then have a layer on top that knows how to pick out
> > tagged cells from a nb).
> >
> > Stéfan
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> > IPython-dev at scipy.org
> > http://mail.scipy.org/mailman/listinfo/ipython-dev
> >
> --
> Brian E. Granger
> Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo
> bgranger at calpoly.edu and ellisonbg at gmail.com
> _______________________________________________
> IPython-dev mailing list
> IPython-dev at scipy.org
> http://mail.scipy.org/mailman/listinfo/ipython-dev

Gabriel Becker
Graduate Student
Statistics Department
University of California, Davis
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