[IPython-dev] Interactive visualization in the IPython notebook 2.0

Phil Elson pelson.pub at gmail.com
Thu Apr 3 09:13:17 EDT 2014

I'm not aware of IPython providing anything other than the generic (and
useful) infrastructure for this plotting usecase, but there exists a comm
based proof-of-concept interactive visualisation produced by Jason Grout in
https://github.com/matplotlib/matplotlib/pull/2524 which may be of interest.

It is also worth noting that the WebAgg backend in matplotlib is a fully bona
fide backend available since v1.3.

Essentially the only reason there isn't an interactive matplotlib IPython
interface already is because nobody with the right technical expertise has
had an opportunity to do - I don't believe there are any remaining
technical hurdles, and I don't even think it is a big piece of work at this



On 3 April 2014 10:47, Cyrille Rossant <cyrille.rossant at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear IPython developers,
> Let me introduce you to Mustafa Kaptan (in CC), a student who has
> started to contribute to Vispy [1], and who has made an application to
> GSoC this year. He'd be interested in integrating Vispy in the IPython
> notebook for high-performance interactive visualization in the
> browser. He already made a nice proof of concept [2]. We're likely to
> need your help soon enough!
> There are many different and complementary approaches. For now, we've
> chosen to start with the simplest approach: the server renders a
> figure with OpenGL, outputs a PNG, and sends it to the browser with
> WebSockets and Tornado. Javascript captures user actions (mouse
> clicks, mouse moves, keystrokes...) and sends them in return to the
> server. I think that is similar to a proof of concept for matplotlib
> made by Michael Droettboom some time ago [3].
> IPython 2.0 now offers the right architecture for this. I was
> wondering whether there was anyone on your side working on something
> like this already? I think it would make sense to have common
> protocols, interfaces and code for matplotlib, Vispy, and other
> visualization libraries. Sending PNG and user events in JSON, creating
> a sort of "distributed" event loop, all seem generic enough to me. It
> would be too bad if we all duplicated our efforts for the same thing.
> Where should we start? Comms, something else? Also, we'd like to reuse
> some of this architecture for a slightly different approach. Instead
> of letting the server render the figure with OpenGL, we'd just send
> OpenGL commands and binary data to the browser (client-side rendering
> with WebGL).
> Best regards,
> Cyrille
> [1] http://vispy.org/
> [2]
> https://github.com/mfkaptan/experimental/tree/master/online_backend/tornado
> [3]
> http://mdboom.github.io/blog/2012/10/11/matplotlib-in-the-browser-its-coming/
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