[IPython-User] ipython notebooks and collaboration: diff & merge ?

Adam Ginsburg adam.ginsburg@colorado....
Wed Dec 12 22:11:04 CST 2012

I've been using ipython notebooks with github as a teaching tool.
I've written up ipython notebooks with blanks in them and ask the
students to fill in those blanks as part of the assignment.  It works
nicely as an interactive "lecture" + tutorial.

I've also been using git (via github) to distribute the notebooks.

However, I've come across a problem - sometimes, I need to send the
students updated notebooks, but they've already made some changes and
saved their notebooks.  When I send them the new code, they get merge
conflicts, and the conflicts are pretty messy (dozens of annoying,
trivial ones because cell numbers have changed, much more daunting
ones when images are involved).

My students don't really know how to merge documents.  I'm not much of
a merging expert myself.  Is there a nice way to merge ipython
notebooks, say based only on inputs (in order to ignore output
images)?  Are there any particular merge/diff tools that handle
ipython notebooks well?

Adam Ginsburg
Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy
University of Colorado, Boulder

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