Thursday, July 26, 2018

Anaconda, Jupyter labs, Java and Broken Stuff

The premise

I decided to have a look over Jupyter Labs as part of some professional development. This was to start learning and getting some skills in Jupyter.

I decided to use the Safari education provided through ACM. A seemingly good starting point was Jupyter: Interactive Computing with Jupyter Notebook. This turns out to be a fast-paced set of videos using Jupyter Notebook which is slightly out date with Jupyter Labs. It's a broad brush and introduces a lot of concepts in quick succession.

What did I find

Jupyter Labs is exciting and looks like a great way forward in the Jupyter world. Following along the course I went through a few examples and installed the extra components up to Scala (which is failing on Ubuntu 18). The author mentions a few problems with the maturity of installing on Windows and I'd say there's work to do in the Linux world. Will follow up with a demo of installing all this.

Getting to complete a variety of visualisations in various notebooks including python, R and Julia is a good place to get started. The course due to its breadth is light on specific content in any area. It helps get across a broad understanding of the of Jupyter.

There's also a brief introduction to Jupyter Hubs and the use of Docker with Jupyter.

The problems I ran into

As I mentioned above Scala won't currently install on Ubuntu 18 without a few tweaks. This is due to a bug with cacerts with the fix is well underway and should soon be out(24/07/2018)

JavaScript in labs is broken due to an issue with extensions. This same issue is causing other problems with the use of widgets.
There is also a lot of hit and miss with getting all the relevant packages installed to support all Jupyter Labs functionality

On this Learning Path on Safari

This is a fast-paced introduction, it's skimming just above the surface Jupyter. You will learn a broad swwep of Jupyter. Labs is different so you will have to work a bit out yourself. There's very little to teach you about how to formulate a notebook – rules guidance etc. While interesting the course does provide an overview. There is some opportunity to execute some code but, the fact you need to own the book to access any files makes it less than fantastic. This is not so much a hit at the content, but how Safari must be licensing this Packt content

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