Use cases

Use cases for nbdime are envisioned to be mainly in the categories of a merge command for version control integration and diff command for inspecting changes and automated regression testing. At the core of nbdime is the diff algorithms, which must handle not only text in source cells but also a number of data formats based on mime types in output cells.

Basic diffing use cases

While developing basic correct diffing is fairly straightforward, there are still some issues to discuss.

Other tasks (issues will be created for these):

  • Plugin framework for mime type specific diffing.
  • Diffing of common output types (png, svg, etc.)
  • Improve fundamental sequence diff algorithm. Current algorithm is based on a brute force O(N^2) longest common subsequence (LCS) algorithm. This will be rewritten in terms of a faster algorithm such as Myers O(ND) LCS based diff algorithm, optionally using Python’s difflib for some use cases where it makes sense.

Version control use cases

Most commonly, cell source is the primary content, and output can presumably be regenerated. Indeed, it is not possible to guarantee that merged sources and merged output is consistent or makes any kind of sense.

Some tasks:

  • Merge of output cell content is not planned.
  • Is it important to track source lines moving between cells?

Regression testing use cases