[IPython-dev] Notebook websocket change

William Stein wstein at gmail.com
Thu Jan 8 17:33:50 EST 2015

On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 2:08 PM, Brian Granger <ellisonbg at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Just curious -- how do you know that most people using IPython aren't
>> already using it through SMC?
> Great question!
> As with all such things, if you are asking for a precise data driven
> answers, then we don't know.
> But here is the constellation of evidence that would lead me to this
> conclusion (that SMC represents a minority fraction of the overall number of
> ipython users):
> * We estimate that the total ipython user base is in the 0.5-1.5 million
> range. However, this is likely a very conservative estimate. Fernando has
> the best summary of where we get these estimates (I don't remember where the
> most recent information is - probably in a private email to someone). If SMC
> has this number of users, then my assertion is clearly to be questioned.
> * We spend a significant amount of time out meeting with ipython users an
> conferences, universities, research labs, companies. Over this sample, I
> know of very few people using SMC (less than 1%). I will be the first to
> admit that this is both anecdotal and subject my the sampling bias of my
> particular travel schedule...
> * Users get and use ipython through a large number of avenues: anaconda,
> pip, github, SMC, Canopy, apt-get, yum, etc. Our overall usage numbers come
> from trying to estimate the install base of each of these things and adding
> them up - we then double check with things like nbviewer usage, etc.
> Anecdotally, it appears that anaconda is the most common way that people get
> and use ipython, but the most reliable numbers we have come from apt-get and
> yum.
> * Commercial usage of the notebook (in private with private data) is quickly
> overtaking the more open academic and educational uses of the notebook. The
> difficulty here is that companies tend to keep their usage private. However,
> each time we get a glimpse at commercial usage (which is happening more and
> more) we are blown away by the scale of it. My assumption is that industry
> usage with private code+data is not the main audience for SMC.
> I want to emphasize that I don't in any way mean to minimize the impact or
> importance of SMC. We all think it is fantastic what you are doing and I
> personally recommend it to people all the time.
> ps - are you willing to share SMC usage stats with us? It would really help
> us to reduce the error bars on our usage numbers, which is very helpful in
> talking to funding agencies...

Thanks for explaining how you measure usage, which I knew nothing
about.  Regarding my SMC usage stats, it's all here:


There is in theory more precise data, but it's not been mined yet.

Usage of SMC appears to be miniscule compared to any of the numbers
you list above.


> Cheers, Brian
> --
> Brian E. Granger
> Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo
> @ellisonbg on Twitter and GitHub
> bgranger at calpoly.edu and ellisonbg at gmail.com
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William Stein
Professor of Mathematics
University of Washington

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