What Is Project Jupyter?

Project Jupyter is an open-source initiative to facilitate interactive computing across programming languages. The most notable product of this project is the Jupyter Notebook.

The name Jupyter is inspired by:

  1. Julia, Python and R—the core programming languages supported by the Jupyter application. ✨
  2. The astronomer Galileo's notebooks—"the original, open science, data-and-narrative papers", according to Fernando Pérez, the creator of IPython programming environment. 🔭

What is a notebook?

A notebook (or notebook document) puts the code and rich media such as live code, equations, narrative text and visualizations in a single document. This makes it easy for anyone to analyze data.

No wonder notebooks are an integral part of the daily workflows of data scientists, machine learning engineers and data analysts (aka your fellow humans of data), right?

What is the Jupyter Notebook?

Jupyter Notebook is an open-source web application that lets you create and share notebook documents with interactive output (HTML, images, videos and more).

Jupyter supports over 40 programming languages and integrates with big data tools (such as Apache Spark). It allows you to share notebooks with others in several ways such as email and Github.

Project Jupyter is a spin-off project from IPython. Want to know about the backstory? Here's a handy resource! 🤓

Why should you use Jupyter Notebooks?

By making users run their codes in cells, the Jupyter Notebook lets you analyze the results of any piece of code that is executed, instantly.

It also offers in-line graph plotting, which is essential for data visualization.

Jupyter Notebook also supports Latex and Markdown that help documents code cells and their outputs in a seamless, almost narrative style. This can be exported as PDFs, web pages and a number of other formats.

You can use Jupyter Notebooks for several data science and machine learning applications, from data cleaning and transformation to data modeling and visualization.

What other products are a part of Project Jupyter (or are derived from it)?

Jupyter also offers the JupyterLab, which is regarded as an evolution (the next-generation version) of the Jupyter Notebook. It is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for data science and offers a number of features besides the usual notebooks.

JupyterLab comes with a JupyterLab terminal, a text editor, configurable layouts and a number of cool and handy extensions.

Since the entire project is open-source, there are several organizations that have built on top of Project Jupyter for internal uses as well as for sharing solutions with the public.

The best example is the Google Colaboratory platform. It's a Jupyter environment that runs in the cloud and uses Google Drive to store its notebooks. Initially, it was used internally by Google for their projects, until they decided to make it public, while offering free GPU access in the notebook.

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See also

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  1. Jupyter Notebooks and modern model distribution
  2. JupyterLab: Evolution of the Jupyter Notebook
  3. Jupyter Notebook tutorial: The definitive guide