[IPython-dev] nbexplode - experiment in version controlling notebooks

Thomas Kluyver takowl at gmail.com
Thu Mar 5 14:36:02 EST 2015

I've just completed a rough prototype of a concept we've been calling
'nbexplode'. If you've wrestled with merge conflicts in notebooks kept in
text-based VCSs, you might like to investigate it.


Since current VCSs don't understand any structure within a file (beyond
lines), the idea is to let the VCS know about the structure of a notebook
by breaking it up into many files for separate cells and outputs. The VCS
should then be smarter about merging separate changes. When you check out
an exploded notebook, you can recombine it into a single .ipynb file to
work with.

This is still sub-optimal, because filesystems (and therefore VCSs) have no
notion of an ordered sequence. And it's probably more unwieldy for viewing
diffs, because cells appear out of order.

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