Simon Willison’s Weblog

11 items tagged “observable”

I don’t like Jupyter Notebooks—a presentation by Joel Grus (via) Fascinating talk by Joel Grus at the Jupyter conference in New York. He highlights some of the drawbacks of he Jupyter way of working, including the huge confusion that can come from the ability to execute cells out of order (something Observable notebooks solve brilliantly using spreadsheet-style reactive cell associations). He also makes strong arguments that notebooks encourage a way of working that discourages people from producing stable, repeatable and well tested code. # 25th August 2018, 3:04 am

Observable Tutorial 2: Dog pictures (via) Observable have a neat new set of tutorials on how to get started with their reactive notebooks. You don’t even need to sign up for the service: they have a “Scratchpad” link in their navigation bar now which lets you spin up a test notebook with one click. # 18th August 2018, 7:55 pm

Notebook: How to build a Teachable Machine with TensorFlow.js (via) This is a really cool Observable notebook. It explains how to build image classification that runs in the browser on top of Tensorflow.js, and includes interactive demos that hook into your webcam and let you hold up items and use them to train a classifier. Since it’s built on Observable every single underlying line of source code is available to browse as part of the essay. # 20th June 2018, 9:10 pm

Changelog 2018-06-12 / Observable. The ability to download an Observable notebook as a stand-alone ES module and run it anywhere using their open source runtime is fascinating, but it’s also worth reading the changelog for some of the new clever tricks they are pulling using await—“await visibility();” in a notebook cell will cause execution to pause until the cell scrolls into view for example. # 13th June 2018, 3:50 pm

Observable: Downloading and Embedding Notebooks (via) Big news from the Observable team: firstly, they’ve released the open source runtime for their notebooks which means you can now execute the code from a notebook independently of their hosted service. On top of that they’ve constructed an elegant way of exporting and executing notebooks (or specific notebook cells) as ES6 modules and as installable npm package tarballs. # 22nd May 2018, 12:14 pm

Iodide Notebook: Project Examples (via) Iodide is a very promising looking open source JavaScript notebook project, and these examples do a great job of showing what it can do. It’s not as slick (yet) as Observable but it does run completely independently using just a browser. # 3rd May 2018, 6:42 pm

What do you mean “average”? (via) Lovely example of an interactive explorable demonstrating mode/mean/median, built as an Observable notebook using D3. # 12th April 2018, 4:41 pm

Observable notebook: San Francisco trees from Datasette. I used an Observable notebook to rebuild my San Francisco tree search demo against a Datasette API of a CSV of trees published by the SF Department of Public Works. The map updates live as you type a query, and every cell can be toggled to view the underlying source code. # 1st February 2018, 12:37 am

USGS World Earthquake Map (observable notebook). Here’s an extended version of the notebook constructed by Jeremy Ashkenas in that Observable YouTube demo. You really need to check this thing out—the notebook itself has sliders in that you can manipulate (even on a mobile browser) or you can click to edit the code and see your changes reflected in real-time. If you sign in with GitHub you can fork the project to your own account and save your changes. # 31st January 2018, 7:07 pm

Observable: An Earthquake Globe in Ten Minutes. Well worth your time. Jeremy Ashkenas uses Observable to live-code an interactive visualization of recent earthquakes around the world, using USGS data (fetched as JSON), d3, topoJSON and an Observable notebook. I’m sold—this is truly ground-breaking new technology. # 31st January 2018, 5:01 pm

Observable Beta (via) Observable just released their beta, and it’s quite something. It’s by Mike Bostock (d3), Jeremy Ashkenas (Backbone, CoffeeScript) and Tom MacWright (Mapbox Studio). The easiest way to describe it is Jupyter notebooks for JavaScript supporting reactive programming—so code is evaluated as you type and you can add interactive widgets (like sliders and canvas views) to construct explorable visualizations on the fly. # 31st January 2018, 4:46 pm