[IPython-dev] [jupyter] Re: Notebook websocket change

Fernando Perez fperez.net at gmail.com
Thu Jan 8 18:20:03 EST 2015

On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 2:08 PM, Brian Granger <ellisonbg at gmail.com> wrote:

> * 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).

This is how I most recently answered the question "what is the impact and
user base of IPython", indeed in the context of a private email as part of
the EU Sage-math grant proposal:

Getting metrics for usage is very tough, but we have some information. You
can read the report we wrote early this year for Sloan, that provides a
bunch of info (notebook and PDF format):



As you can see, rather than a single blurb of download stats, we paint a
more complex (but I think richer) picture of broad usage and impact.  A few
more things since:

- Recently highlighted in the cover of Nature:


and that article links to a live, interactive demo here:


This demo broke readership records for Nature, to the best of our
understanding (we blew past the estimates the editors gave us in terms of
highest numbers of simultaneous readers to expect).

- The NBviewer site has very significant usage, these are the Google
Analytics numbers for the period Nov 8, 2014-Dec 8, 2014:

That's almost 1 million page views for people sharing content as IPython
notebooks (that's the only purpose of that site).

- Our Gallery of notebooks is a good showcase of the breadth of usage and
impact of the notebook across domains:


- This list shows the adoption of our kernel architecture across languages:
23 independent implementations and counting, meaning this system is
becoming the lingua franca of interactive computing:


- Here is a list of other projects (in academia and industry) using IPython:


- It's very hard to get accurate user counts, but we *estimate* at least ~2
Million users.  This is a rough estimate, but I think realistic (and if
anything, a conservative undercount). The estimate goes as follows:

a) Estimates of linux users (not datacenter servers) range from 20M for
Ubuntu to ~70M across distros:


b) The Debian 'popcon' statistics:


show IPython to be installed on ~ 5% of Debian installs.

If we use that as a baseline, and estimate total linux user counts at say
~50M (rough average of the above two numbers), we get about 2.5M installs
of IPython on linux. This doesn't count source installs, pip installs, nor
any of the Windows and Mac OSX users who get it via Anaconda, Enthought
Canopy, etc.  Nor does it count the increasing number of server-side hosted
deployments we see more and more of.

But at least it gives a credible way to justify that IPython probably has
*at least* 2M users.

Fernando Perez (@fperez_org; http://fperez.org)
fperez.net-at-gmail: mailing lists only (I ignore this when swamped!)
fernando.perez-at-berkeley: contact me here for any direct mail
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