[SciPy-User] Pylab - standard packages

Fernando Perez fperez.net@gmail....
Fri Sep 21 21:31:01 CDT 2012

On Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 6:17 PM, Almar Klein <a.klein@science-applied.nl> wrote:

> So if I understand correctly, you want to put the concept of the notebook
> into pylab. Kind of based around the open protocols so that different tools
> can get a similar user experience.


> Trying to get at the subtleties...  so what if IPython with notebook
> feature* is a part of the base. So that every user with a pylab-compliant
> distro can fire up a notebook. But, distros can (and will) ship additionally
> an IDE (like IEP or Spyder) that does *not* have IPython or a notebook-like
> interface, but these interfaces are still considered Pylab-compliant. That
> does sound reasonable?

Yes, that's been my take all along (it's hard to read precise ideas
within the ravings of a lunatic, you know :).  We'd be *thrilled* if
IEP/Spyder, in addition to talking to the ipython shell like it does
now, also were to build a cool, Qt-based local notebook client.  In
IPython we even had a Summer of Code student who got started on a Qt
notebook client, but unfortunately for him at the time too many pieces
were barely ready and he couldn't really go very far beyond the
prototype stage.  I don't see us taking that task on anymore, as we
just don't have the resources, but just like the Emacs client I
pointed out, it would be a perfect project for a different team.

The reason why I want the notebook in the spec is so that we can ship
tutorials and documentation, and build rich examples that are
searchable but immediately executable, and have that work in any
pylab-compliant distro.  It does *not* mean that we should say that
using the notebook is the only way to work/develop, or that the
examples shouldn't be also available as pure scripts (which is trivial
to satisfy), or that IEP/Spyder/Canopy aren't a better tool for
certain workflows and situations.

And if in the future those local clients develop support for the
notebook format/protocol, that would be even better, but I would never
dream of saying that IEP/Spyder/etc has to support the notebook
*itself* to be pylab compliant.  If you got that impression, I'm sorry
for any miscommunication, because that idea never, ever crossed my

> * What exactly are the extra dependencies for that?

PyZMQ and Tornado, and likely in the near future jinja.  Pyzmq has
cython code in it, the other two are pure python so pretty lightweight
and easy to deal with.  And pyzmq has  a very robust build that hasn't
really caused (that we know) problems to EPD since they started
shipping it over a year ago, as it's also a dependency for the qt

> Not a lunatic at all. I think this discussion is very useful. I like (most)
> your ideas, but I just want to protect some things that I care for.

And I very much like the fact that even someone like Thomas, who is
"in our camp", wants to see a different side of the question.



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