I use Jupyter notebooks for prototyping, especially figs, but they are a nightmare if you don’t understand pros/cons & caveats [same conceptual arguments for why GUI for Matlab is bad neuroplausible.com/matlab ] and these slides by Joel Grus are hilarious on the matter:


@olivia LOL wow these slides are good and even insightful for a newbie like me. 😅 I love that notebooks can involve interactive elements for newbies to play around with the code I've setup for them, but as the slides mention, this requires making sure that one cell doesn't depend upon the execution of some other cell, leading to confusing results if/when they're executed out of sequence [or the assumed sequence].

@bthall @olivia slightly late to the party here, apologies... I saw those slides too (courtesy of hspter@twitter), and found them fascinating.

However, I'm not really a notebook user, so as an R user I gotta ask - is there a big win over something like a Shiny Gadget/webapp that can be packaged up, shared, and run in RStudio? Seems like that gets the interactivity without some of the headaches... But maybe I'm missing the point?

@gwmngilfen @olivia I'm not familiar with the R and shiny tech to say yes or no. But at one point I researched which language supported easily runnable interactive elements and the Python and notebooks route seemed much better than R and Shiny, which seemed to still require running things somehow or hosting the notebooks on a server. Mybinder.org lets any user access a notebook with interactive elements and interact there, or a user can download that same notebook and run the exact same code on their machine just by opening it. My impression is that with Shiny, as you said, it requires additional steps to run the thing if you opt to download it and run it yourself - a burden that I felt was too significant for my target audience, the barely tech literate or patient.

@gwmngilfen @bthall @olivia different job, i think: iiuc shiny is for making data driven websites for presentation

@amphetamine @bthall @olivia you can reshare shiny apps for use locally too, they don't have to be deployed to a website

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Fosstodon is a Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.