[IPython-dev] Widgets for non-Python kernels

Doug Blank doug.blank at gmail.com
Tue Mar 18 16:20:31 EDT 2014

On Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 3:15 PM, Andrew Gibiansky
<andrew.gibiansky at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.
> Thanks!
> Andrew Gibiansky


We could attempt to share our ZMQServer.cs between Calico and F#, but
your native F# is so clean looking that you may not want to :) You can
see what is necessary to implement widgets here:


This code is still being cleaned up, but I think we have everything
implemented (traitlet-like behaviors, compositional widgets, etc).

Hope that helps; if not feel free to ask a question.


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