[IPython-dev] First experiences and usability suggestions for notebook and nbconvert

David P. Sanders dpsanders at gmail.com
Tue Jul 16 13:33:23 EDT 2013

> - It would great to be able to type
> ipython notebook odes.ipynb
> and have the relevant ipynb open directly, instead of going via the
> dashboard
Further to this comment:

At the moment, my default behaviour is *not* usually to want a list of the
notebooks in the current directory, but simply to start writing stuff in
the notebook, just like I would if I ran 'ipython' from the command line.

Maybe there could be an explicit option

ipython notebook dashboard


ipython notebook list

to get the dashboard behaviour.


> - Folding:
> In my notebook, the output of several cells were folded, in particular the
> result of things like
> help(odeint)
> [I am planning on using this for a course, and wanted to record this step
> in the notebook]
> But in the result of nbconvert, the full output of the documentation is
> shown.
> This is very bad news -- how can the output folding be respected and not
> shown?

This seems to be a more general problem: if I hide the output of a cell in
the notebook, save and close, and reopen the same notebook, then the output
appears in full. This seems to me to be an actual bug. I will (look for
and) open an issue.


> - New LaTeX commands:
> I defined various LaTeX shortcuts like
> \newcommand{\yy}{\mathbf{y}}
> inside $$...$$ in markdown cells.
> (Is this the correct / canonical way to do this?)
> Markdown seems to respect these in the rest of the document, and in the
> HTML output, but running
> pdflatex on the LaTeX output forgot about them immediately after they were
> defined.
> - Suppressing code cells in LaTeX output:
> Towards the reproducible paper goal, how can code cells be suppressed in
> the LaTeX output. I guess with the metadata somehow?
> 3. Notebook issues:
> - Keyboard shortcuts:
> I am a keyboard person: for me, all functionality which is accessible via
> menus should be assigned a (preferably modifiable) keyboard shortcut.
> In particular, it seems that split cell, merge cell, and close and halt are
> currently missing shortcuts.
> - Similarly, could there be toolbar icons for split and merge?
> - Basic find and replace in the notebook:
> Find and replace, at least a basic one, is a must-have feature for
> refactoring.
> This seems to already be available in CodeMirror
> -  In-place file editing
> It seems that by combining the %load and %%file magics,
> one has a kludgy way of editing an arbitrary file.
> Maybe this could be combined easily into an %%edit magic?
> - Is there a way of deleting multiple input cells simultaneously, rather
> than pressing Ctrl M-d several times or clicking the scissors icon several
> times (which admittedly is easier in this case). This would be very nice to
> have
> 4. Notebook styling:
> - There seems to be much appetite for notebook styling, e.g. xkcdify.
> Here is a gist I found, referenced from a blog post that Brian commented on
> at some point, with a very basic interface. Something like this would be
> great to have, with a user-contributed style database:
> https://gist.github.com/aflaxman/5707238
> Maybe this could just be via load_ext?
> By the way, is there a list of the possible extensions available?
> - Will Min's nbtoc extension be integrated?
> Apologies for the long message, but these are the things that have been
> bugging me for the last few days :)
> Thanks and best wishes,
> David.
> --
> **************************************************************************
> Dr. David P. Sanders
> Profesor Titular A / Associate Professor
> Departamento de F?sica, Facultad de Ciencias
> Universidad Nacional Aut?noma de M?xico (UNAM)
> dpsanders at gmail.com
> http://sistemas.fciencias.unam.mx/~dsanders
> Cub?culo / office: #414
> Tel.: +52 55 5622 4965
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Dr. David P. Sanders

Profesor Titular A / Associate Professor
Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

dpsanders at gmail.com

Cubículo / office: #414
Tel.: +52 55 5622 4965
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