Technical details of interactive code

Main questions:

How does thebe work, and how do I troubleshoot problems?


Technical details of interactive code




Around 5 minutes of reading

Technical architecture

The interactive code is run in a jupyter notebook. Each time a student activates the interactive code enviroment, they request a new kernel from a binderhub server. This is done with the help of the javascript library thebe that takes care of the communication with the binderhub server. The sphinx extension provided by aplus-rst-tools is based on the code of a sphinx extension sphinx-thebe.

Since the kernel is requested by the user's browser, any changes made disappear when the user refreshed the page.

The testing environment is provided by mybinder, but this shouldn't be used for live courses. When your course is going public, you should change the settings to use a binderhub server provided by your institution.

Using other programming languages

Only support for python has been tested, but Jupyter supports other programming languages as well. As documented here, it is possible to set the kernel using a meta tag. In aplus, this would mean adding the lines

.. meta::
  :thebe-kernel data-aplus=yes: <KERNEL-NAME-HERE>

to the top of every page where you want to use a different kernel.


Since requesting a kernel is taken care of by a javascript library called from the browser, a good way of getting information about possible issues is by looking at the developer console of your browser.

Posting submission...