Jupyter Notebooks

If you are a Python programmer, you absolutely must use the fantastic amalgamations of documentation, code, and code output commonly known as Jupyter Notebooks. Installing, assuming you have python3 installed, is as simple as running:

pip3 install juptyer

After this, you can simply tell your console juptyer notebook in your project folder, and your default browser will open a window to a file list. Clicking ‘new’, then ‘Python 3 Notebook’, will get you started right quick.

What have you just opened up?

Before you is the splendor of an .ipynb file. You can add and intermingle ‘cells’ containing code and text. Hitting ENTER edits the cell, and SHIFT-ENTER runs the cell, printing any results immediately below the cell. The output can be anything from text, to tables, to images and graphs.

Even better, the editor supports most vim keybindings: j and k for upwards and downwards movement, and esc kicks the user into command mode.

Changing the cell type is as easy as hitting m for markdown, or y for code. New cells can be created with b. If you’ve forgotten anything, it’s easy to use h to see commands, or p to search commands.

At this point, you should go and read some tutorials on using common data science and plotting libraries like pandas and matplotlib. Enjoy your new tool!

Me? I’ve used them in the past to take notes while learning new libraries and tech, and plan to use them for teaching someday.

As the .ipynb files can be converted to HTML or Markdown, I’m certain that more than a few future posts will end up being written in Jupyter!