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14 Sharing and Distributing Notebooks

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This section of Introduction to Wolfram Notebooks is about sharing notebooks with other people and distributing notebooks publicly over the internet. A notebook can be shared either from a desktop application or from the Wolfram Cloud. This happens to be a notebook in a web browser that is signed into a Wolfram Cloud Account. At the top of this page are buttons labeled Share and Publish. Share is used for sharing the notebook with specific people and Publish is used for making the notebook more publicly available. Clicking the Share button opens a dialog box where you can enter an email address. Clicking Share in that dialog box puts a link to this notebook in the Wolfram Cloud Account that is associated with that address and sends an email notification to that address. The contents of that email will look something like this, with a button that can be clicked to see the notebook. If the owner of that account is not already signed in to that Wolfram Cloud Account, clicking that button will first bring up a dialog box for signing in, and after that the notebook will be displayed in that Wolfram Cloud Account. Returning to the notebook in the original account, clicking the Publish button brings up a different dialog box for making the notebook publicly available. Clicking the Publish button in that dialog box opens a second dialog box with a URL that anyone could use to view this notebook. To see the notebook, copy the URL, open a web browser and go to the corresponding webpage, which displays the notebook in a web browser. The notebook can be viewed here in the web browser, and dynamic content also works, like the controls in this Manipulate result. This display is not editable, but it does include buttons for making a copy of the notebook that can be edited. For example, clicking the Download button would download a copy of the notebook to the desktop, where the copy could be opened and edited in Wolfram Desktop, just like any other notebook. There was no need to sign in to a Wolfram Cloud Account to see this notebook, so the notebook is currently being viewed anonymously, but the notebook can be copied to a Wolfram Cloud Account either by clicking the sign-in button or by clicking the Make Your Own Copy button. For example, since this web browser is not already signed in to a Wolfram Cloud Account, clicking the Make Your Own Copy button opens a dialog box for signing in, and after signing in the copy is displayed in the web browser, where it can be edited just like any other notebook in this account. As noted earlier, this notebook can also be published or shared from the desktop. For example, starting now with this notebook on the desktop, the notebook can be made publicly available by selecting Publish to Cloud from the File menu, which opens a dialog box much like the dialog box that came up earlier for choosing a file name and for choosing whether or not to require a password. Clicking the Publish button copies the notebook from the desktop to the cloud and displays a URL. As before, anyone with that URL and a web browser connected to the internet could see the notebook. The dialog box also includes code for embedding the notebook in another document. As a simple example of how that can work, here is a text editor with raw HTML code for a webpage. The code from the dialog box can be pasted into the HTML file in the text editor, then save the HTML file and open it in a web browser, which shows the notebook rendered in the web browser. This webpage also includes a button near the bottom that can be clicked to download the notebook or copy it to a Wolfram Cloud Account. You could also include your own link for downloading the notebook directly from your computer. Either way, the downloaded notebook can be displayed on the desktop using a Wolfram Desktop application or using the free Wolfram Player, which can be downloaded from the Wolfram Research website. For example, this shows the downloaded notebook in Wolfram Player. From the desktop, you can also share the notebook with specific people, like the sharing that was shown earlier from my Wolfram Cloud Account. For example, evaluating CloudShare with an email address in this notebook uploads the notebook to Wolfram Cloud and sends an email notification to that address with a link to the notebook in the cloud. The CloudShare function is essentially just a different way of doing the same operations that were done earlier using the Share dialog box. The return value from the CloudShare function is a cloud object expression, which represents the uploaded notebook. CloudObject expressions are useful to know about in part because the permissions for accessing the notebook are stored as options of that expression. For example, the Permissions option of this CloudObject expression includes the email address where the notebook was shared and a list of permissions. This works much like Permissions for files and common operating systems, where their permissions are typically associated with each file, a difference here being that you can specify different permissions for each individual user. The default permissions give Read, Write and Execute permission to the owner, and permission to read and interact with the notebook, which permits the use of interactive controls in the account where the notebook is shared. Those permissions can be changed. For example, this input gives that account read, write and execute permission for the notebook. To see that notebook in the account where it was shared, you could click the link in the email notification, but a link to that notebook will actually already be available in that account. Here, for example, is a web browser that is logged into that account. Clicking either the Files button or the My Files icon opens a file browser where you can navigate to a directory of files that have been shared with you. Right now the most recent file in that directory is the notebook that was just shared, which you can open for viewing in this account. As expected from the permissions that were set earlier, the notebook can be viewed here and interactive controls work and the notebook can be edited. The notebook cannot, however, be shared or published, since the notebook is not owned by this account. There is not a Share button or a Publish button at the top of this window, but the notebook can be duplicated here, by choosing Duplicate from the File menu, which creates a new notebook. Clicking Open new file, opens the new notebook, which is owned by this Wolfram Cloud Account and which can be shared or published. For example, clicking the Share button opens the dialog box for sharing, where you can enter the name of another account, indicate edit permission for that account and click the Share button to share the notebook. One important feature of this system is that the shared notebook will be a link to this notebook, so both accounts will, in effect, be viewing the same notebook. Here is that notebook in the other account. Since the notebook is still open in the owner's Wolfram Cloud Account, this display includes a message indicating that the file is currently locked, since it is already open for editing in another account. If the other account signs out, then since the notebook was shared with editing permission, the notebook could be edited in this account and any changes would affect both notebooks. This is convenient if two or more people are working with the same notebook, but you could also make your own copy of the notebook. That's the end of the examples for this section. This section is mostly about sharing and distributing entire notebooks, but you can also share pieces of notebooks. For example, clicking this icon within a cell opens a menu where you can choose to share this cell, which leads to a dialog box with a URL that can be used to view the contents of that cell in a web browser. More generally, the Wolfram Cloud supports a whole range of tools for putting data and apps and APIs and things other than notebooks on the internet. You can find more information about the operations in this section and about all of those other features by following links to cloud-related topics in the Wolfram documentation, starting with this guide page on cloud functions and deployment.

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Posted by: wolfram on Mar 11, 2020

14 Sharing and Distributing Notebooks

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