Using Rerun with Notebooks

Starting with version 0.5.0, Rerun now has limited support for embedding the Rerun viewer directly within IPython-style notebooks. This makes it easy to iterate on API calls as well as to share data with others.

Rerun has been tested with:

Basic Concept

Rather than logging to a file or a remote server, you can also configure the Rerun SDK to store data in a local MemoryRecording.

This MemoryRecording can then used to produce an inline HTML snippet to be directly displayed in most notebook environments. The snippet includes an embedded copy of an RRD file and some javascript that loads that RRD file into an IFrame.

Each cell in the notebook is fully isolated from the other cells and will only display the data from the source MemoryRecording.

The APIs

In order to create a new MemoryRecording, you call:

rec = rr.memory_recording()

This is similar to calling rr.connect() or in that it configures the Rerun SDK to use this new recording as a target for future API calls.

After logging data to the recording you can display it in a cell by calling the show() method on the MemoryRecording. The show() method also takes optional arguments for specifying the width and height of the IFrame. For example:, height=400)

The MemoryRecording also implements _repr_html_() which means in most notebook environments, if it is the last expression returned in a cell it will display itself automatically, without the need to call show().

rec = rr.memory_recording() rr.log("img", my_image) rec

Some working examples

To experiment with notebooks yourself, there are a few options.

Running locally

The GitHub repo includes a notebook example.

If you have a local checkout of Rerun, you can:

$ cd examples/python/notebook $ pip install -r requirements.txt $ jupyter notebook cube.ipynb

This will open a browser window showing the notebook where you can follow along.

Running in Google Colab

We also host a copy of the notebook in Google Colab

Note that if you copy and run the notebook yourself, the first Cell installs Rerun into the Colab environment. After running this cell you will need to restart the Runtime for the Rerun package to show up successfully.

Sharing your notebook

Because the Rerun viewer in the notebook is just an embedded HTML snippet it also works with tools like nbconvert.

You can convert the notebook to HTML using the following command:

$ jupyter nbconvert --to=html --ExecutePreprocessor.enabled=True examples/python/notebook/cube.ipynb

This will create a new file cube.html that can be hosted on any static web server.

Example cube.html


Although convenient, the approach of fully inlining an RRD file as an HTML snippet has some drawbacks. In particular, it is not suited to large RRD files. The RRD file is embedded as a base64 encoded string which can result in a very large HTML file. This can cause problems in some browsers. If you want to share large datasets, we recommend using the save() API to create a separate file and hosting it as a separate standalone asset.

Future Work

We are actively working on improving the notebook experience and welcome any feedback or suggestions. The ongoing roadmap is being tracked in GitHub issue #1815.