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Aiding Collaborative Reuse of Computational Notebooks with Annotated Cell Folding

Abstract : Computational notebooks aim to support collaborative data analysis by combining code, visualizations, and text in a single easily shared document. Yet, as notebooks evolve and grow they often become difficult to navigate or understand, discouraging sharing and reuse. We present the design and evaluation of a Jupyter Notebook extension providing facilities for annotated cell folding. Through a lab study and multi-week deployment we find cell folding aids notebook navigation and comprehension, not only by the original author, but also by collaborators viewing the notebook in a meeting or revising it on their own. However, in some cases cell folding encouraged collaborators to overlook folded sections or spend longer reviewing a notebook before editing it. These findings extend our understanding of code folding's trade-offs to a new medium and demonstrate its benefits for everyday collaboration. We conclude by discussing how dynamic reorganization can support sharing and reuse of computational notebooks.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - 10:33:20 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 2:08:10 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 4:22:55 PM

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Adam Rule, Ian Drosos, Aurélien Tabard, James D Hollan. Aiding Collaborative Reuse of Computational Notebooks with Annotated Cell Folding. The 21st ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, Nov 2018, Jersey City, United States. pp.1-12, ⟨10.1145/3274419⟩. ⟨hal-01863692⟩

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