If anyone’s interested, I made a desktop app that embeds the Observable runtime and Alex Garcia’s excellent unofficial Observable compiler.
This app is not a notebook. It’s based off cells, but these are pasted on a 2D canvas, which to me feels a lot more powerful and natural than the 1D vertical layout (which forces you to scroll up and down all the time). It feels a lot like an Excel-based dashboard.
It also has tabs, so that you can organize your cells better.
One of the main draw for making a desktop app is that it allows you to read files from your computer without using attachment (which means you can base the filename on some variable). It also allows you to access http apis which don’t have CORS enabled.
The good part is that almost all you do in Observable works there as well. You can even import Observable notebooks using the usual import statement - of course you should only do this if the license attached to the notebook allows it.
The app’s very rough as of now and missing a lot of things but it’s functional.
You can find it there: www.jigdev.com
Let me know what you guys think.