[IPython-User] autosave in notebook

Brian Granger ellisonbg@gmail....
Sun Jan 15 14:26:16 CST 2012

2012/1/15 Zoltán Vörös <zvoros@gmail.com>:
> Hi Brian,
> On one hand, I see your point, on the other hand, I don't. I agree that
> unintentionally overwriting existing and valid data with new, but faulty one
> is a problem. However, just as big a problem is when the browser fails, and
> you lose the data altogether.

Yes, which is why we are thinking about these things.  But
realistically, I have been using/developing the notebook for many
months (probably more than most), and I can't think of a single time
that my browser crashed leading to a loss of data.  That is not to say
it doesn't happen, but that the situation is not so severe that can't
take a little time to figure our a permanent solution.

> As a temporary solution, couldn't there be a backup file to which one could
> autosave every 5 minutes, or whatever, and you would only write to the
> master file when pressing the "Save" button? That would eliminate the issue
> you raised, but would still be more than nothing.

I guess I would rather wait a bit longer and figure out how we want
the notebook to integrate with version control systems.  In our view
this part of the notebook is extremely important and is worth getting
right.  For now I am -1 on implementing a temporary solution,
especially one which pollutes the local directory.  I would like to
hear from others though (@fperez, @minrk, @takluyver?).

> If that is an acceptable solution (writing to notebook.ipynb.backup every 5
> minutes), I still don't know how one would implement this. I could set up a
> timer, and call save_notebook(), but how can I retrieve the currently active
> tab in the browser? If I write the timer function into the notebook
> template, will the same timer apply to all open notebooks, or only the
> active one? Besides, I am not certain at all as to where exactly the timer
> should be.

Implementing this would require changes on both of server and browser
side of things.  We would need a new URL/handler to handle the
autosave requests along with the logic in the notebookmanager.  On the
browser side, the timer should be in savewidget.js and it will affect
only a single notebook at a time.



> Any comments on this, or you think that this approach is just an ugly hack,
> and it is really not worthwhile?
> Cheers,
> Zoltán
> On 01/15/2012 08:34 PM, Brian Granger wrote:
>> Autosave without version control built-in is a recipe for data loss
>> disaster.  To prevent unwanted losses from autosave, you need the
>> ability to rewind and recover lost work.  This is something we are
>> thinking about, but is still a ways off.
>> Cheers,
>> Brian
>> 2012/1/15 Zoltán Vörös<zvoros@gmail.com>:
>>> Hi All,
>>> I am sorry for spamming the mailing list, but I happen to use the
>>> notebook quite a lot at the moment, and during this I find myself facing
>>> newer and newer questions. I try to find the answer, before posting the
>>> problem here:)
>>> Is there a way to set autosave on on the html notebook? I don't mean the
>>> content of the cells, because that could be pulled out of the history
>>> (at least, the inputs), but the notebook as a whole. I see that for
>>> large notebooks with many images this might create a bottleneck, but if
>>> the user was able to switch this off/on, that would be great.
>>> I believe, one would only have to set up a timer in javascript, and call
>>> the function that is invoked on Cntr-M-S. I could look into this, but I
>>> don't know, whether there is already an effort under way.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Zoltán
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Brian E. Granger
Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo
bgranger@calpoly.edu and ellisonbg@gmail.com

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