.NET Interactive is here! | .NET Notebooks Preview 2

Maria Naggaga

Maria

In November 2019, we announced .NET support for Jupyter notebooks with both C# and F# support. Today we are excited to announce Preview 2 of the .NET Notebook experience.

What’s new

New Name – Meet .NET interactive

As our scenarios grew in Try .NET, we wanted a new name that encompassed all our new experiences from the runnable snippets on the web powered by Blazor (as seen on the .NET page) , to interactive documentation for .NET Core with the dotnet try global tool, to .NET Notebooks.

Today we are announcing our official name change to .NET interactive.

.NET interactive is a group of CLI tools and APIs that enable users to create interactive experiences across the web, markdown, and notebooks.

.NET Interactive Breakdown

  • dotnet interactive global tool : For .NET Notebooks (Jupyter and nteract)
  • dotnet try global tool : For Workshops and offline docs. Interactive markdown with a backing project.
  • trydotnet.js API (not publicly available yet): Online documentation. For example, on docs and .NET page. Currently, only used internally at Microsoft.

New Repo – dotnet/interactive

Moving forward, we have decided to split dotnet try and dotnet interactive tools into separate repos.

  • For any issues, feature requests, and contributions to .NET Notebooks, please visit the .NET Interactive repo.
  • For any issues, feature requests, and contributions on interactive markdown and trydotnet.js, please visit the Try .NET repo.

New Global Tool – dotnet interactive

How Install .NET Interactive

First, make sure you have the following installed:

  • The .NET 3.1 SDK.
  • Jupyter. Jupyter can be installed using Anaconda.

  • Open the Anaconda Prompt (Windows) or Terminal (macOS) and verify that Jupyter is installed and present on the path:

> jupyter kernelspec list
  python3        ~\jupyter\kernels\python3
  • Next, in an ordinary console, install the dotnet interactive global tool:
> dotnet tool install --global Microsoft.dotnet-interactive
  • Install the .NET kernel by running the following within your Anaconda Prompt:
> dotnet interactive jupyter install
[InstallKernelSpec] Installed kernelspec .net-csharp in ~\jupyter\kernels\.net-csharp
.NET kernel installation succeeded

[InstallKernelSpec] Installed kernelspec .net-fsharp in ~\jupyter\kernels\.net-fsharp
.NET kernel installation succeeded

[InstallKernelSpec] Installed kernelspec .net-powershell in ~\jupyter\kernels\.net-powershell
.NET kernel installation succeeded
  • You can verify the installation by running the following again in the Anaconda Prompt:
> jupyter kernelspec list
  .net-csharp    ~\jupyter\kernels\.net-csharp
  .net-fsharp    ~\jupyter\kernels\.net-fsharp
  .net-powershell ~\jupyter\kernels\.net-powershell
  python3        ~\jupyter\kernels\python3

Please Note: If you are looking for dotnet try experience please visit dotnet/try.

New language support – PowerShell

PowerShell Notebooks

PowerShell notebooks combine the management capabilities of PowerShell with the rich visual experience of notebooks. The integration of PowerShell’s executable experience with rich text and visualization open up scenarios for PowerShell users to integrate and amplify their teaching, and support documents. As an example, this demo of a new PowerShell feature was easily transformed into a shareable, interactive teaching tool.

With the multi-kernel experience provided by the .NET interactive kernel a single notebook, now with PowerShell support, can efficiently target both the management plane and the data plane.

DBAs, sysadmins, and support engineers alike have found PowerShell notebooks useful for resource manipulation and management. For example, this notebook teachers the user how to create an Azure VM from PowerShell.

We look forward to seeing what our customers to do with this experience. Read the PowerShell blog post for more information.

Run .NET Code in nteract.io

nteract animated logo

In addition to writing .NET Code in Jupyter Notebooks, users can now write their code in nteract. nteract is an open-source organization that builds SDKs, applications, and libraries that helps people make the most of interactive notebooks and REPLs. We are excited to have our .NET users take advantage of the rich REPL experience nteract provides,including the nteract desktop app.

To get started with .NET Interactive in nteract please download the nteract desktop app and install the .NET kernels.

Resources

Our team can’t wait to see what you do with .NET Interactive. Please check out our repo to learn more and let us know what you build.

Happy interactive programming !

30 comments

Leave a comment

  • Avatar
    MgSam

    The name “.NET Interactive” is confusing since it clashes with your C# REPL, “C# Interactive” and the two tools are similar but at the same time very different.

    Separately, I get the Jupyter notebooks are cool and make great demos, but do they have any other use cases outside of data science? They’ve been around for years now and I’ve yet to see someone use one in the actual real world. The vast majority of developers would benefit a lot more from you guys investing in C# Interactive again, integrating it with the debugger, increasing its prominence in Visual Studio, and making it easier to use and more powerful (charting, tables).

  • Avatar
    Jerzy Rozmyslowicz

    Just learned that another .NET exists
    How many .NET you are going to create?

    You are doing it all wrong. There should be just one VS Studio, one .NET one code
    Simply you should work only on compilers to that one solution
    Developer then just could use Build As (need to be implemented) command to build one code to Windows or Mac
    or Android or whatever else using specific compiler

    • Avatar
      Dave Bacher

      Microsoft is currently working towards .NET 5.

      In their old .NET, they apparently have a million #if statements all over the place, and then scripts build the various flavors by having the right set of defines. Even, apparently, Silverlight. That’s based on what they’ve said in posts here and over on Hanselman’s blog.

      And so basically – .NET Core they went through and took all the #if’s out. And so you have this new Common Language Runtime / Microsoft Intermediate Language interpreter that has as few built-in dependencies as possible, and that’s .NET Core runtime itself. And then you have a cloud of libraries in what would have been the Basic/Base Class Library (BCL) before – and those are now mostly NuGet packages – and so you can pick versions of them when you compile, and those versions are bundled with your executable, and no other process can cause a different version to load.

      One of the side effects is the individual project teams that are working on GitHub, which is most of them on the .NET side, can now take pull requests and feature input / issues directly through GitHub, and so you can go over there and beg them directly and make the case directly for specific features in specific libraries, instead of having to go through support and hoping you get the single support rep who has actually written code professionally at some point in their life. 😉

      Visual Studio supports multiple targets in a single project file, and that is the traditional C++ way to build C code for multiple platforms in Visual Studio. You can add a MacOS target right now, and changing the target is then the pulldown next to “Release” and “Debug” on the default toolbars. That’s explicitly what that feature is intended for. You can do more on the C++ side than on the C# side right now.

      However, if you’re not calling any OS-specific functionality – the .NET Core app you compile runs, from a single build, on Windows, Linux and MacOS. Same binary file works on all three. You can even use WinForms or WPF, and those work as expected now mostly. (there are differences, and third party components generally need to be designed for the new ones)

    • Phillip Carter
      Phillip CarterMicrosoft logo

      Just to clarify: what is announced in this blog post is not another flavor of .NET. This is about bringing .NET to the Jupyter Notebooks ecosystem and enhancing interactive programming with C# and F#. It’s the same compilers, runtime, etc. under the hood as any normal .NET Core application.

  • Roman Cerny
    Roman Cerny

    When trying to run following in Windows 10 cmd

    dotnet tool install –global Microsoft.dotnet-interactive

    I get:

    The tool package could not be restored.
    Tool ‘microsoft.dotnet-interactive’ failed to install. This failure may have been caused by:
    * You are attempting to install a preview release and did not use the –version option to specify the version.

    Please advise

  • Gus Martinka
    Gus Martinka

    Really excited about .net in Jupyter moving forward. I was using Python/Jupyter to explore data and prototype solutions but this is looking like my new go to. Preview 1 had some bugs with syntax highlighting and such but was still useful. I am hoping VS Code will pick up support for .net core in Jupyter soon.

  • Radu Popa
    Radu Popa

    Awesome! Big fan of Notebooks!
    … But why were F# and PowerShell supported before Visual Basic .Net?
    The later is more popular than the former two together.
    How misleading it is to name it .Net Interactive and support PowerShell but not Visual Basic .Net …

    I, for one, will not use this until you include support for Visual Basic .Net.
    I’m on my way to learning Python and will switch to it if Microsoft continues to alienate the large VB.Net community.

  • Avatar
    David Cuccia

    I absolutely love the work that’s being done here, thanks to the Interactive team for making this a reality.

    I also love the new Jupyter support (currently in the Python extension for) VS Code.

    It would be wonderful to have Interactive work with Jupyter in VS Code.

    I posted this request on the Interactive and vscode-python GitHub sites but wanted to share my request here as well. There seems to be an intent to make this happen, one way or another, which is great. (Though, I might have poked a wasps nest with my questions. :)

    https://github.com/dotnet/interactive/issues/179
    https://github.com/microsoft/vscode-python/issues/5078#issuecomment-588437582

  • Avatar
    AUGUST SPIER

    The trials and tribulations of a New Guy.

    Following the blog post, I
    1. Download and install Anaconda
    2. Download and install dotnet Core SDK (v. 3.1.201)
    3. (At the Anaconda prompt), run jupyter kernelspec list. And receive
    python3 ~\jupyter\kernels\python3
    4. (In the command shell), I invoke > dotnet tool install –global Microsoft.dotnet-interactive
    5. I return to the Anaconda prompt to run > “C:\Program Files\dotnet> dotnet interactive jupyter install
    6. And I’m rewarded for my efforts with:
    Could not execute because the specified command or file was not found.
    Possible reasons for this include:
    * You misspelled a built-in dotnet command.
    * You intended to execute a .NET Core program, but dotnet-interactive does not exist.
    * You intended to run a global tool, but a dotnet-prefixed executable with this name could not be found on the PATH.

    Where did I go wrong?

    Regards,

    Gus
    DISCLAIMER: I am not a software developer, nor do I play one on TV. But I am a fairly accomplished DBA trying to adapt new tools to everyday life.