The Jupyter Notebook has proven to be an invaluable tool for the sciences, specifically data science. How can the rest of us (non-scientists) take advantage of the great power that is interactive computing? What does the Jupyter Notebook for every one else look like? Dynamic Docs is a proof-of-concept that demonstrates how a doc (e.g. Google Doc, Dropbox Paper), with the added feature of interactive widgets, could be the ideal tool for non-scientists to interact with today’s most precious resource: data. The widget is essentially a Jupyter Notebook cell in the context of a doc. It can run code in any language that Jupyter supports, render rich and interactive output, and hide its input or output, allowing non-technical users to focus on results while allowing technical users to edit code as needed. Widgets can fetch data from any data source (including the doc itself), run any number of transformations on data, and render results that end-users can interact with. If you take a step back and think about it…what is the difference between this and an app? In many cases, the user experience is the same but that the cost of development is infinitesimal. Lastly, like all software, widgets can be shared openly so you can imagine how open-source widgets for common use cases will proliferate. By combining or composing widgets, non-technical users are able to interact with data in sophisticated ways and create app-like experiences without writing code.
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