Data Science Tools Demystified: Distinguishing JupyterLab from Jupyter Notebook

Jupyter is a popular open-source project that allows users to create and share documents containing live code, equations, visualizations, and narrative text.

It is used by data scientists, researchers, and developers to perform data analysis, machine learning, scientific simulations, and other tasks.

Jupyter has two interfaces: JupyterLab (the improvised one) and Jupyter Notebook (the classic one). JupyterLab is an advanced web-based environment that is better at handling data, codes and etc whereas Jupyter Notebook is a simpler interface with lesser features.

In this article, we will discover the differences between these two tools and see when one is more appropriate than the other.

What To Know About JupyterLab?

JupyterLab (the next-generation notebook interface) is a web-based interactive development environment (IDE) that provides a flexible and powerful platform for working with notebooks, code, and data.

It allows users to organize their work into multiple panels, tabs, and windows, and customize their environment using extensions and plugins.

The main features of JupyterLab include:

  1. Multiple Document Interface (MDI): JupyterLab allows users to work with multiple notebooks, consoles, text editors, and other components in a single integrated interface. This makes it easier to switch between different files and tasks and to drag and drop components across panels.
  2. Code Navigation: JupyterLab provides advanced code navigation tools such as a file browser, a command palette, a code inspector, and a debugger. These tools allow users to quickly find and navigate to different parts of their code, execute commands, and debug errors.
  3. Rich Text Editing: JupyterLab supports rich text editing using Markdown, HTML, and LaTeX. Users can create and edit text cells, headings, lists, tables, and equations using a variety of formatting options.
  4. Visualization: JupyterLab supports a wide range of data visualization tools such as Matplotlib, Bokeh, Plotly, and Vega. Users can create and display interactive plots, charts, and graphs within their notebooks.
  5. Extension System: JupyterLab has a modular architecture that allows users to extend and customize their environment using extensions and plugins. There are many community-built extensions available for JupyterLab that provide additional functionality such as git integration, code snippets, and themes.

What To Know About Jupyter Notebook?

Jupyter Notebook (a classic notebook interface) is a web-based interactive environment where users are open to perform all simple functions. It is the classic notebook interface that has been used by thousands of users for many years.

JupiterLab
JupyterLab

The main features of the Jupyter Notebook include:

  1. Notebook Interface: Jupyter Notebook provides a notebook interface that allows users to create and edit notebooks consisting of cells. Each cell can contain code, text, or markdown.
  2. Interactive Computing: Jupyter Notebook allows users to run code interactively and see the results immediately. Users can use various programming languages such as Python, R, Julia, and Scala.
  3. Visualization: Jupyter Notebook supports a variety of data visualization tools such as Matplotlib, Bokeh, and Plotly. Users can create and display interactive plots, charts, and graphs within their notebooks.
  4. Sharing and Collaboration: Jupyter Notebook allows users to share their notebooks with others and collaborate on them. Users can export their notebooks in various formats such as HTML, PDF, and Markdown.
  5. Extensions: Jupyter Notebook has a rich ecosystem of extensions that allow users to extend and customize their environment. There are many community-built extensions available for Jupyter Notebook that provide additional functionality such as spell-checking, code folding, and code highlighting.

Use Cases For JupyterLab vs. Jupyter Notebook

Now that we have seen the differences between JupyterLab and Jupyter Notebook, let’s see when one is more appropriate than the other.

Use Cases for JupyterLab:

Data Science Projects

JupyterLab is more suitable for complex data science projects that require advanced code navigation, visualization, and customization.

It allows users to work with multiple notebooks, text editors, and consoles in a single interface, making it easier to organize and manage their work.

JupyterLab’s extension system also allows users to customize their environment with additional features such as git integration, code snippets, and themes.

Machine Learning

JupyterLab is a good choice for machine learning projects that require advanced visualization and analysis tools.

It supports a wide range of data visualization libraries such as Matplotlib, Bokeh, Plotly, and Vega, which can be used to create and display interactive plots, charts, and graphs within notebooks.

JupyterLab’s command palette and code inspector also provide advanced code navigation and debugging capabilities that are useful in machine learning workflows.

Collaborative Projects

JupyterLab is a good choice for collaborative projects that require sharing and version control. It supports git integration, which allows users to manage their code and notebooks using version control systems such as Git or GitHub.

JupyterLab’s multi-user server architecture also allows users to share notebooks with others and collaborate on them in real time.

Use Cases for Jupyter Notebook

Install JupyterLab/notebook

Simple Data Analysis

Jupyter Notebook is more suitable for simple data analysis tasks that do not require advanced code navigation or visualization. It’s a simple notebook interface that allows users to create and edit notebooks consisting of cells containing code, text, or markdown.

Learning

Jupiter Notebook.
Jupiter Notebook.

Jupyter Notebook is a good choice for early learning and educational purposes such as teaching programming languages or data analysis.

It’s a simple and intuitive interface that allows students to write and run code interactively and see the results immediately.

Jupyter Notebook’s support for various programming languages such as Python, R, Julia, and Scala also makes it a versatile tool for teaching different programming paradigms.

Prototyping

Jupyter Notebook is a good choice for prototyping and experimentation. It allows users to quickly create and test code snippets, explore datasets, and visualize results in a simple and interactive way.

Jupyter Notebook’s support for different programming languages also allows users to choose the language that best suits their needs for prototyping and experimentation.

FeatureJupyterLabJupyter Notebook
InterfaceNext-generation notebook interfaceClassic notebook interface
CustomizationHighly customizable with extensions and themesLimited customization options
Code navigationAdvanced code navigation and debugging capabilitiesBasic code navigation and debugging capabilities
VisualizationSupports advanced data visualization librariesLimited data visualization options
CollaborationMulti-user server architecture for real-time sharingLimited collaboration options
Machine learningSuitable for machine learning workflowsLimited machine learning capabilities
Simple data analysisLess suitable for simple data analysis tasksMore suitable for simple data analysis tasks
EducationSuitable for teaching programming languages or dataMore suitable for educational purposes
PrototypingSuitable for prototyping and experimentationMore suitable for prototyping and experimentation
Difference Table.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the main difference between JupyterLab and Jupyter Notebook?

JupyterLab is a next-generation notebook interface that provides a more flexible and powerful platform for working with Jupyter notebooks, code, and data, while Jupyter Notebook is a classic notebook interface that is simpler and more straightforward.

Which tool is better for data science projects: JupyterLab or Jupyter Notebook?

JupyterLab is better suited for complex data science projects that require advanced code navigation, visualization, and customization, while Jupyter Notebook is more suitable for simple data analysis tasks.

Can I use JupyterLab and Jupyter Notebook for the same project?

Yes, you can use both JupyterLab and Jupyter Notebook for the same project.

Depending on the specific requirements of your project, you can choose the tool that best suits your needs for each task or workflow.

Conclusion

JupyterLab and Jupyter Notebook are two popular tools for creating and sharing interactive notebooks containing live code, equations, visualizations, and narrative text.

JupyterLab is a next-generation notebook interface that provides a flexible and powerful platform for working with Jupyter notebooks, code, and data.

It is more suitable for complex data science projects, visualization, and customization. Jupyter Notebook is a classic notebook interface that is more suitable for simple data analysis, education, and prototyping.

It provides a simple and intuitive interface that allows users to write and run code interactively and see the results immediately.

Jupyter Notebook’s support for various programming languages and data visualization libraries also makes it a versatile tool for different use cases.

Depending on the specific requirements of your project, you can choose between JupyterLab and Jupyter Notebook to optimize your workflow and productivity.

Other Articles:

Scroll to Top
Skip to content