I saw Tom’s solicitation on Twitter and wanted to share my early UX challenge.
The problem is simple and I’d be surprised if no one else had encountered it: If I know that a long notebook uses a little snippet of code, I haven’t noticed a way to pop open all the cells at one time to search them to find the correct cell, say with ctrl-f, besides exporting it.
Not an ideal solution, but you can use Safe mode for this: Safe mode shows all the code (and only the code) for your notebook. To access Safe mode, either add /safe to the URL in the address bar, or from your profile, click on the little menu for your notebook and then click Safe mode.
(Because Observable syncs your changes in realtime as you commit them, you can also develop notebooks in safe mode and non-safe mode in two side-by-side windows, if you prefer that style of development.)
Thanks, I had heard of Safe Mode once but hadn’t remembered to use it like that.
The parenthetical method is pretty cool. The websocket sync capability perhaps conflicts with the “safe mode” name: it is a hidden side effect, albeit of the “backend” still being smart, even if the front-end is mostly not.
I was just pairing with my advanced JS (volunteer) colleague today who had worked as a new user solo otherwise successfully on the collaborative oHQ notebook. He said he was trying to ctrl-F but didn’t realize about safe mode. He did an “Ohhh” and said the find-a-thing-quickly limitation was a significant reason he had been pushing to move us to vanilla GitHub initially.
Consider raising it up in prominence somehow for searchers, besides just the button on the hanging-∞-notebook warning or the maki roll on the notebook profile. Really, everything you said above is gold.