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This repo is designed to provide an environment to support Code Camp running through; since Binder uses the SHA hash to determine when it needs to rebuild the docker image, if we separate the env from the actual notebooks this allows us to update the notebooks without the environment being rebuilt.

The driver for this approach was wanting to use some form of 'Q&A' with Code Camp where the 'A' was hidden from the student unless they chose to reveal it. There are two nbextensions options (exercise and exercise2) and one labextension option (jupyterlab-solutions). The JupyterLab extension appears to have been abandonned, so although I could get it to install (and even successfully enabled) I couldn't get the button to show up in the toolbar.

With this in mind, I've opted for exercise2 because it makes the 'Answer' part more obvious... though it might tempt students to click on it without trying to figure it out for themselves.

So you can now:

So changes to code-camp notebooks are still made in that repository, but the Binder environment is never rebuilt unless there is a change to requirements.txt or postBuild. The requirements and postBuild files install nbgitpuller so that the latest (or tagged, if you set this up accordingly) version is always pulled from GitHub.

So to make changes to any of the notebooks in Code Camp (e.g. to get the Q&A format set up in each notebook) you would:

  • docker pull jreades/cc:v0.4 (or whatever the most recent version is)
  • cd /path/to/code-camp-repo/
  • docker run --rm -ti -p 8888:8888 --mount type=bind,source="$(pwd)",target=/home/jovyan/ jreades/cc:v0.4 An alternative (which might work better on Windows) is: docker run --rm -ti -p 8888:8888 -v $(pwd):/home/jovyan/ jreades/cc:v0.4
  • Enable the exercise2 extension in the settings, but to do this you will likely first need to uncheck disable configuration for nbextensions without explicit compatibility (see picture below).

Image of Extensions Configuration

You then set up the questions and answers in each notebook and just commit the updated notebook back into the code-camp repo.

To generate a new MyBinder link to launch a specific notebook you can go to: The steps are then:

  1. Click on 'Binder' tab on right-hand side (you start in the JupyterHub tab by default which isn't what you want)
  2. Change Git Environment Repository URL to, e.g.: and set branch as needed (hint: shouldn't be needed)
  3. Change Git Content Repository URL to: and set branch as needed (hint: may be useful)
  4. Set 'File to open' as appropriate (e.g. notebook-04-errors-and-debugging.ipynb).
  5. Make sure (for Code Camp at least for the time being) that 'Classic Jupyter Notebook' is selected since the JupyterLab extension doesn't work..

Doesn't look like much now I've figured it out, but there you go.


Refs for posterity:


Environment to support Code Camp running through — this separates the env from the actual notebooks and so should save on rebuilds.



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