Sage Forge and Notebook Sharing

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Matthew Turk

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Sep 9, 2009, 12:49:46 AM9/9/09
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Hi there,

I'm writing to ask about a programmatic mechanism for sharing of
notebooks and worksheets. The group I work in is currently
investigating the Sage system (specifically through a fork/branch of
FEMhub) as a mechanism for running analysis on large datasets.

One of our goals, though, is to be able to provide our scripts
(worksheets) to others as learning tools, as well as to record what we
did to construct a given plot. In the past, some users have done this
via standard source control practices, with scripts run from the
command line, typically without much interactive input. However, the
notebook environment is exciting for a number of reasons I don't have
to enumerate here. :)

An aspect of the Sage notebook I personally find particularly exciting
is the import/export mechanism -- being able to feed in a URL to
import a worksheet from the web, and being able to export to a single
file. The underlying mechanism aside, this alone is pretty awesome
for an object as data-rich as a worksheet.

What I think would really make this transformative, for our group at
least, would be the ability to push (and pull, which is already
included in Sage) from a metadata-enhanced repository -- something
like a "SageForge." An extension to or wrapper around the
export_worksheet(...) method would likely be able to handle this.
We've handled passing scripts around mostly via a pastebin mechanism
-- which simply does not scale.

I was wondering if there was any interest in this kind of "forge"
system -- or, perhaps I'm a bit behind the times, and such a thing
already exists. I've explored a bit of the space of document
management systems, and it seems that there are a few Django-based
projects ( http://code.google.com/p/django-dms/ for instance) in the
works that can handle programmatic upload/download of metadata-
enhanced documents, which would be very interesting, and might be able
to handle worksheet uploads. But, again, I'm relatively new to Sage,
so I'm still figuring out the way the behind-the-scenes aspects all
work -- so perhaps there are difficulties or subtleties I don't see
yet.

Thanks very much for listening!

-Matt

William Stein

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Sep 9, 2009, 3:19:32 AM9/9/09
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I think that's a great idea, and definitely worth thinking about.
There has been a lot of general notebook brainstorming on the Sage
list(s) today, which has resulted in this list:

http://wiki.sagemath.org/SageUsability

I've added your idea about under the Users section there.

I'll be doing a lot of work on the notebook starting at the end of
this month, and greatly appreciate all the suggestions and ideas for
features.

-- William

Serge A. Salamanka

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Sep 9, 2009, 3:55:29 AM9/9/09
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It could be really useful to have Sage generate RSS feeds when sharing
or publishing worksheets.
There is a firefox extension for reading RSS feeds called Sage which
could also be developed further to work with Sage software.

#Serge

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