[IPython-User] autosave in notebook

Fernando Perez fperez.net@gmail....
Sun Jan 15 19:36:50 CST 2012


On Sun, Jan 15, 2012 at 5:30 PM, MinRK <benjaminrk@gmail.com> wrote:
> Certainly, though it's quite appropriate that it be significantly
> diminished in its functionality.

Oh, certainly.  No multiple versions, no history: just 'last copy from
N minutes ago', which in many scenarios is still better than 'you lost
all unsaved work'.

> I disagree only in that I think the user should not have to look at
> the filesystem *at all*.  It should be handled by the notebook server.
>  Remember that it is not a safe assumption that users even have access
> to the filesystem other than through the notebook itself.  In some
> capacity, the notebook server should say "I have some unsaved edits in
> backup file(s), what would you like me to do?".  There's a bit of a
> decision to make on when exactly that should appear (on first view of
> the notebook list, or only on request of the individual notebook, or
> only when 'view my current backups' is explicitly requested etc.).

I agree with that last view.  Emacs does something similar 'autosave
file is newer, reload with ...'.  When the notebook starts it could
notice the presence of .foo_auto... for foo.ipynb, which shouldn't
normally be there, and ask the user if they want to open that instead.
 A button to 'view autosaved files' could be handy too, in case people
open the normal file and then realize that they might in fact need the
autosave but had previously answered 'no.

> As usual, part of this is based on the tension between the notebook as
> a webapp and the notebook as a desktop application that happens to run
> in a browser.

Indeed.

> Indeed, and they must also be able to do this when using a remote
> notebook server running on a machine they do not control.

Certainly, that's a use case that will be increasingly important.

Cheers,

f


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