Just another day at the lab... JupyterLab Innovation Summit

Roughly a dozen core JupyterLab contributors gathered this November to work together in person. Saul Shanabrook from Quansight was among the list of attendees. Of his experience, he said, “We went into the event hoping to work together on some technical issues and make a plan together for a 1.0 release. I was also looking forward to the opportunity for some face to face time, which is relatively rare for a distributed project such as ours.”

During this collaborative event, Saul was able to spend some time working with Jason Grout, who is a Jupyter developer and employee of Bloomberg in San Francisco. Together they were able to move forward with the integration of React components into the JupyterLab and Phosphor ecosystem. This work should enable developers with a React background to more easily contribute to JupyterLab core and create extensions that interface with it.

JupyterLab has always been open source, but at this conference, it became apparent just why this is so vital. It was impressive to see the community around this software, there were programmers from organizations all over the world who converged at this one location to collaborate and further develop this project. Saul commented on the positive spirit there, “It was also encouraging to see the empathy and gratitude for all of the contributors, which made spending time together feel enjoyable and worthwhile.”


They also had the opportunity to speak with Mathias Bynens, that week, over a video call. Mathias works on the V8 JavaScript engine for Google. He spoke about the roadmap for packaging web resources to more efficiently send them to browsers. The team may soon be able to directly apply this code to JupyterLab and streamline similar processes. Grant Nestor also presented a new UI package which will be part of JupyterLab.(see the GitHub pull request here). This new UI will allow core and third-party extensions to utilize shared React components. The hope is that these new implementations will help the app to have a consistent look and feel and reduce the duplicated styling logic. Once these changes are made, it should be easier for outside developers to build the user interfaces for their JupyterLab extensions.

Saul was also able to meet a long time contributor, Vidar, for the first time in person. He is a researcher from Oslo’s Simula Research Laboratory, where he is focused on supporting the research tools for mathematicians, and has provided consistent contributions to JupyterLab. Among other things, Vidar was working that week on making the build process for JupyterLab run more smoothly.

This meeting continued the forward momentum on the JupyterLab project. To join in and contribute, feel free to ask questions on the Gitter channel. Feedback on existing pull requests and issues is also appreciated. If you would like to suggest a larger change to JupyterLab, the team welcomes you to bring it up for discussion at the weekly public meetings. To get an invite to any of these communication channels, simply reach out to Saul and he can point you in the right direction. Thanks to everyone for making it a productive and enjoyable meeting, especially to Steven Silvester for setting it up and hosting everyone at J.P. Morgan.

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© QUANSIGHT 2020

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