Julia 1.2 in Nextjournal

Hi everyone,

I’m happy to announce that Nextjournal updated all default images to Julia 1.2! Any new article with Julia code cells will now default to this image. There is also a collection with more images that come with packages pre-installed like DifferentialEquations, Plots, Makie with WebGL, Julia 1.3 etc. Most of those are ahead of time compiled with PackageCompiler to drastically reduce compilation times. Just remix those to get started, or directly import those images via the runner menu.

Let me know if anything is missing, best with an article that installs the packages you feel should be a default!

Why should you try Nextjournal?

What use cases are we imagining

  • Scientific/technical blogging, much like all the great JSOC blog posts on Nextjournal
  • Interactive documentation, tutorials & teaching
  • Team collaboration in companies/universities/research groups
  • Sharing data analysis with clients or other team members
  • Publishing interactive and reproducible papers

What’s missing

There are a couple of features we are aware off, that are still missing:

  • Turning Github repositories / folders into a collection of notebooks
  • Notebooks with multiple pages
  • Embedding Nextjournal into a web pages
  • Editing files stored in the container, e.g. files in a Julia package
  • More Medium like features, e.g. liking notebooks, viewing statistics, feed with popular notebooks, meta groups & tagging articles, RSS feeds
  • Running Nextjournal on your own hardware
  • Open sourcing Nextjournal
  • Line by line evaluation and other fancy editor features

Let us know if you’re missing anything, or if there are any deal breaker that hold you back from adopting Nextjournal. We’re open to prioritize certain features! We’re also trying to get more adoption in the teaching & tutorial space, so if you would like to use Nextjournal for that let us know! We’d love to help you get started and have a chat! :slight_smile:

A little more background

We’re a small company based in Berlin and completely self funded - which gives us the freedom to stay true to our ideals!

The creation of Nextjournal was heavily inspired by Bret Victor’s great article: What can a technologist do about climate change. The article motivates, along lots of other topics, to invest time and resources into Julia and explorable programming to fight climate change! It also suggests, that it’s crucial to bundle data, tools and models into articles, to foster fact based discussions. This was pretty much the main driving factor behind our great support for Julia, Open Science and the reproducibility & interactivity of articles.

To implement this vision with maximal flexibility, Nextjournal was written from scratch and, for the better or worse, is not relying on Jupyter. This gives us the freedom to implement our own features without being restricted to the Jupyter protocol. However, to get the best of both worlds, we did implement the Jupyter protocol and we also allow users to import Jupyter notebooks! The custom protocol also doesn’t mean that you will get stuck with Nextjournal: you can always export your notebooks as markdown, which works nicely together with e.g. Weave.jl & Atom, or can be imported back into Jupyter.

I hope this helps to better judge what Nextjournal is and how you can use it :slight_smile: If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Best,
Simon

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Awesome. I started giving Nextjournal a try and love it.
I’ve never been able to blog about the things I want because the mix of code and math meant I always had to trade better math formatting and explanation over long-winded explication of the code and data structures. And often with code it’s enough to print out a formatted result to get the intuition, to see the result, and how it relates to the math… Nextjournal provides a nice balance for my type of blogging. I’ve got some julia NLP blogs in the works and so far I love the workflow.

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Hi Simon, I do a lot of teaching and I’ll need something for Soss.jl tutorials once I get past this initial fast-changing API. I’m currently using Hugo, but it looks like Nextjournal can be a bit help with this. Looking forward to checking it out!

Is it just me or is @which not available on nextjournal?

@which is defined in interactiveUtils, which, IIRC, isn’t loaded automatically on NextJournal.

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In general, I am for entirely open-source platforms, but a bit of healthy competition wouldn’t hurt.
A few years ago, there was also an extensive discussion about possible improvements for the current publishing model and platforms. See several follow up posts too. All of them contain a lot of references and reader’s comments - it worth to read everything:

While it is more relevant to scientific publishing as it is, I believe it has some ideas that can be useful to you. There are also quite mature and established Authorea and Overleaf commercial platforms along with their main FOSS competitor - PubPub from MIT.

DARPA recently funded and promoted one more impressive idea - the social network for scientific exchange Polyplexus. Integration or feature parity with something like that might be interesting for you too.

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