[IPython-User] ipycli - command line support for notebooks

Carl Smith carl.input@gmail....
Sat Jul 14 08:01:52 CDT 2012


Hi all

I should probably point out that my IPython Notebook runs on a remote
server with no SSH option. I can only communicate with my 'PC' via the
Notebook interface. It's strictly a web app. This is a bit different
to most users, who have other ways to access and control the machine
their server runs on. I only have a browser.

> Google docs is different because a doc can't manage other docs.

What I meant by this is that, in Google Docs, documents can not
control other documents. I can't type a command into a word doc or a
spreadsheet cell that'll actually execute. I can do anything in a
notebook that I could do with a CLI. Google Docs has a regular,
graphical user interface, but IPython Notebook has a command line
interface with graphics.

I was initially surprised by Kent's point about users who don't like
using commands. I guess there are a lot of users who use IPython
almost purely for interactive Python and then use Windows for file
management and so on. For users who prefer that way of working, I'd
suggest building graphical widgets in HTML that can be outputted in
the notebook with a simple magic like %explorer. Then all this stuff
can be separated from the Notebook itself and optionally available
from some repo as an extension or something.

I've always used IPython as my shell. I'd normally have two windows
open on my desktop, a terminal emu running IPython and Chromium doing
everything else. Scraping the term altogether and just having the
Notebook running in a tab in Chromium meant I only had one window open
for everything. It quickly dawned on me that I could move my entire
stack to AWS and be completely decoupled from any physical machine. I
still need a desktop to run GIMP and stuff like that, but I could go
weeks at a time on a Chromebook now, if I had one.

> We are pretty minimalist as well.  Initially I thought about going in
> the direction you are talking about = having no dashboard and a more
> complex UI in the notebook page.  What I found though is that the
> notebook page grew a lot of complexity that made it feel less simple.

I know you're pretty minimalist, I think I just dropped that one in
there to provoke a reaction :)

I agree with you that complicating the Notebook's UI is bad. When I
came up with the dashbook idea, I was originally just thinking about
adding a single cell to the current dashboard, for doing shell type
stuff, but it'd still need a couple of new magics to work. That idea
grow into dashbooks, but the core idea is to just allow commands to be
executed in the dashboard.

I guess the dashboard is one of those things that seems so simple, but
is actually very delicate when you have such a large and diverse user
base.

Thanks

Carl


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