[IPython-User] IPython Notebook as a web app ~ quick debrief

Brian Granger ellisonbg@gmail....
Mon Jul 16 10:57:31 CDT 2012

On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 8:16 AM, Carl Smith <carl.input@gmail.com> wrote:
> I just wanted to post a bit about my experience using IPython Notebook
> as a web app. It seems to be a very different paradigm.

Yes, I think this is really important feedback.  Thanks for taking the
time to provide it.

> The most obvious difference is that you tend to view everything from
> the outside in. The underlying OS becomes a component of the web app,
> rather than the other way round.

Interesting, I hadn't thought about this before.  I can see what you
mean though.

> When I go to NotebookCloud, I have some Notebook instances in a
> 'rack', with buttons on the front for stopping, starting, rebooting
> and terminating them. When I go to one of my instances, I go to the
> Notebook. That's my sole interface. If it can't be done in the
> Notebook, then it can't be done. I guess this is why I'm more keen
> than most to see stdin implemented.

Yes, stdin is a definite hole in the notebook's capabilities for this
type of usage case.

> The features that the stack provides are simply features of the
> Notebook. For example, the Notebook has a file system which is not
> entirely based on the underlying OS. You can attach virtual drives to
> it, and do other stuff that's abnormal. To NBC users, these are all
> just features of the Notebook, not Ubuntu or AWS.


> >From this perspective, the Notebook replaces the command line and the
> desktop environment, providing a new, unified interface. Further, this
> interface is used for accessing computing and storage capacity in
> general, as a utility, rather than a lump of actual hardware. I
> eventually expect to do personal computing through it too, so
> uploading photos from my phone to my Notebook's file system should be
> a natural as pushing them to Picasa.

We can definitely abstract out the notebooks file system.  Not sure
about managing photos with it though...

> I know this all sounds a bit emacs, and I called myself a minimalist,
> but I'm really looking to replace a lot of other tools with this one.

I don't view this as emac-ish as much as the simple reality that if
you don't have local or ssh access to the host, then the notebook has
to be your only interface to the capabilities of the system.  You
don't really have a choice but to adopt this perspective.

> I just wanted to share this.



> Thanks again
> Carl
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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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