If you’re new to cloud computing and version control, upon which this platform is built, here is some information to help you get started.
Jupyter Notebook is an open-source interactive computing tool that enables computational narratives. With Jupyter Notebook, one can create and share executable programming documents where code is accompanied by writings and visualizations. Currently, Jupyter Notebook is compatible with both Python and R. Jupyter Notebook can be downloaded using Anaconda
NBViewer allows users to browse static versions of Jupyter Notebooks in public GitHub respositories (read more on GitHub below).
Binder in contrary to NBViewer, hosts interactive Jupyter Notebook images. Users can edit and execute notebooks hosted on Binder, but changes will not be saved or stored.
For users who are new to the command-line interface, it might be more intuitive to learn GitHub first before diving into Git itself
Git (/ɡɪt/) is an open-source Version Control System (VSC) or Source Code Management (SCM) tool that allows users to create multiple independent local branches (versions) of the same folder that can be merged or deleted. These branches are especially useful for experiments and testing. Users can push local branches to remote repositories when working in a team. Git also enables team collaborations when used with remote repositories (cloud folders) hosted on platforms such as GitHub.
GitHub is a code hosting platform for version control and collaboration, which can be compared to a cloud folder such as Google Drive with additional functionalities. When used along with Git locally, GitHub is a powerful and efficient tool for users to collaborate on large projects with many files. In many cases, employers also see GitHub as a portfolio platform for students who are interested in jobs in the technical field.
ReviewNB is a GitHub (marketplace) application that enables comprehensible comparisons and reviews of Jupyter notebooks. GitHub automatically shows differences for plain text files between branches and commits whenever they are compared with one another (here’s an example), where addition is hightlighted in green and deletion in red. However, Jupyter Notebooks are normally presented as rich media rendering of JSON files, which are not very interpretable when shown in plain text. With the help of ReviewNB, users can see the differences between two Jupyter Notebooks after they are rendered in a new window. At the same time, any edits or comments made in ReviewNB would be synced back to the GitHub.
RStudio and RMarkdown is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for R, a statistical computing programming language. RMarkdown on the other hand is a package that comes with a built-in site generater that is useful for analysts and researchers who want to create HTML-formatted content using RMarkdown files (similar to Jupyter notebooks)
The r-mark down guide provides a clear guide on how to create a simple website using rmarkdown’s site generater and publish it through GitHub Pages. For more complex customization, the RMarkdown Guidebook provides more tips.
Check out introduction to Git above