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

Maximilian Albert maximilian.albert at gmail.com
Fri Mar 6 04:47:43 EST 2015

Very interesting idea! Thanks for working on this, Thomas! (And on
everything else. ;) )

Would you favour this approach over something like nbdiff [1,2]?
Disclaimer: I haven't tried nbdiff yet, just stumbled upon it and thought
it looked promising. But I'm wondering what sort of future direction you
core devs have in mind for dealing with "semantic" diffing/merging of


[1] http://nbdiff.org/
[2] https://github.com/tarmstrong/nbdiff

2015-03-05 19:36 GMT+00:00 Thomas Kluyver <takowl at gmail.com>:

> 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.
> https://github.com/takluyver/nbexplode/
> 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.
> Thomas
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