How to Work With Example Notebooks

Converting Notebooks to Plain Python

PINT’s documentation includes a certain number of Jupyter notebooks. When the online documentation is built these are executed and the results are included in the documentation. This is a nice way to set up python tutorials, but there are a few wrinkles in the way these are integrated into version control. In particular, storing a Jupyter notebook in git causes headaches. So we store a sort of “distilled” python version.

If you create a new notebook, tell jupytext that you want to keep a plain python copy:

$ jupytext --set-formats ipynb,py:percent docs/examples/my_notebook.ipynb

This will generate a .py version that also contains the information from non-Python cells as comments. The format is understandable to Spyder as well, which can recognize and execute code cells.

Where to Put the Data

Put any data files in src/pint/data/examples, and include a note about the data (where you got it from) in src/pint/data/examples/ This will ensure that the data get put in the proper place on installing pint. To refer to the files use pint.config.examplefile():

import pint.config
fullfilename = pint.config.examplefile(filename)

Compiling and Synchronizing the Notebooks

If you check something out of git, or switch branches, or want to make sure you have current versions of all the notebooks, run:

$ make notebooks


$ tox -e notebooks

This will both synchronize the working Jupyter notebooks with the python version and also execute the notebooks. So if there is an error in a notebook, this may stop part-way through. If this happens, try the simpler:

$ jupytext --sync

This will synchronize the notebook contents without trying to execute them.

Using the Notebooks

Whichever of those you ran, now you can use Jupyter Lab to work with the notebooks as per normal. You may see a strange message about rebuilding and jupytext; just hit okay. The jupytext code should ensure that as you manipulate the notebook, the plain python is kept in sync (it contains only the inputs, not the outputs).

Checking it Back Into GitHub

When you are ready to check things in to git, just run:

$ make notebooks


$ tox -e notebooks

This will synchronize and execute all the notebooks; if an error occurs, you have a problem in your notebooks and you probably shouldn’t check them in to git. If everything is fine, and especially if you have added a new notebook, ensure that it gets checked in to git with:

$ git add docs/examples/

That is, check the python versions in to git, not the .ipynb versions.

Adding it to the Documentation

Now add the new notebook to the documentation somewhere — after all, that’s why you wrote it, right? Do this by putting it in a “toctree”, that is, add its name (without the .py extension) to a list of sub-documents like this one from our Tutorials section:

.. toctree::

   examples/Example of parameter usage

Finally, since you changed the documentation, rebuild it:

$ make docs


$ tox -e docs
$ firefox docs/_build/index.html

This will rebuild the documentation (and in the case of make open it in a browser window); if you have any bad formatting or links that point to nowhere it will stop with an error.