[IPython-dev] Widgets for non-Python kernels

Andrew Gibiansky andrew.gibiansky at gmail.com
Tue Mar 18 15:15:36 EDT 2014

Hey all,

I'm trying to implement widgets in IHaskell, and am having a lot of difficulty understanding what should go into this. I currently have Comms implemented, so things can change the way they are displayed to use JS+comms to be dynamic.

However, it looks like widgets are significantly more than just that. At least, they are output to a special widget area of the output cell. I understand the general idea behind widgets but cannot understand the raw underlying comm/networking protocol that gets them set up and working.

So, a few questions to start with:

How can I make, say, a slider widget appear in the frontend? My backend has no Python in it whatsoever.
Which side sends the comm_open (backend or frontend)? Is it that the backend sends a comm_open to the frontend with the proper target name, which then creates the model, and later a display() can create the view?
I apologize in advance if this is thoroughly documented somewhere; I read the IPEP for backbone widgets and found that it described the architecture but I could not understand how the backend actually dealt with the messages and how and to whom they were sent. Also, the example notebooks are helpful in terms of understanding the Python support for this, but didn't quite answer my questions.


Andrew Gibiansky

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