[IPython-dev] Re: questions about the notebook interface
hans_meine at gmx.net
Mon Jul 4 06:36:44 CDT 2005
On Friday 01 July 2005 08:41, Fernando Perez wrote:
> > Toni Alatalo wrote:
> > I don't think that any-old-text-editor is a viable target. It just
> > doesn't provide any of the real notebook capabilities. Targetting it as
> > an intermediate platform before a GUI shell is available sacrifices the
> > capabilities that the GUI shell is going to provide.
> Well, that approach has worked pretty well for Latex. You can edit it with
> xemacs/vi/notepad/whatever, and yet the LyX guys managed to build a fancy
> GUI environment on top of it. Furthermore, lyx actually handles the
> document in its own .lyx format, and exports to latex for the final
> rendering pass. But if you want, you can embed raw latex into the document
> via ERT insets.
Again, I want to stress the importance of the interactive programming aspect
of the interface. The LaTeX-way has the disadvantage that LyX basically
contains a "LaTeX light" rendering engine, since calling LaTeX is not
feasible for interactive feedback.
For programming, writing the program in an editor and running it from a shell
(or even via a keyboard shortcut from within your IDE) is already possible
today, but that's where ipython jumps in as an improvement. I would be
interested in a notebook frontend building on that, basically expanding the
(already quite powerful) editing possibilities.
> I don't see why a similar model can't work for us: a simple enough format
> that it's valid python syntax, so it can be edited with normal programming
> tools. A notebook library to render the files, and a GUI on top which
> enables interactive use of such documents, using the ipython engine.
I understand that you're more interested in the rendering part, but I am much
more interested in the interactive GUI. Without a powerful, comfortable GUI,
I won't be interested in created the documents I would be able to print out.
(Admittedly, even then I would seldomly use the printing..)
> For a prototype, a curses-based one could be written fairly easily. It
> wouldn't be portable in the long term, but it might be enough for a lot of
> users on *nix systems.
That would be a good start AFAICS. Anybody interested in working on sth. like
Ciao, / /
/ / ANS
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