Pipelines User Guide broken

None of the “next” buttons work for me on https://panel.holoviz.org/user_guide/Pipelines.html. I tried on two laptops (both Macs) with Chrome and Safari.

All the examples don’t necessarily work on the panel documentation webpage (i think it says so on the very bottom of each page in the documentation). A lot of examples have to be loaded in some python environment + relevant librarys loaded + panel extension running. The easiest way to go about this is to run the example in a jupyter notebook for example using jupyter lab. I hope this helps and you can make the examples work now :slight_smile:

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Yes, this does get it to work. However, it does not say on the bottom of https://panel.holoviz.org/user_guide/Pipelines.html that examples might not work on the webpage. In fact, I don’t think I see that statement anywhere.

I highly recommend that the website should get the examples working properly. The docs are the main advertising mechanism for an application like this, and if even the docs can’t get Panel to work properly, I don’t think users will trust it…

Thank you!

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Sorry - in my memory I thought I’ve seen it once or twice somewhere else. It says for example on the very first page of the “getting started” section in the blue box.


Hi @efremdan1

I totally feel your pain and confusion. I’ve been there my self and still am. I’ve tried to raise the issue with the core developers multiple times. I believe this is a major friction point.

The feedback is that hosting live applications can quickly become expensive and there are really no commercial resources behind this. My understanding is that Anaconda sponsors some resources and a lot of the development is sponsored by organizations hiring Anaconda employees as consultants. But HoloViz and Panel does not really have commercial backing. And the resources it has are peanuts compared to Streamlit and Dash.

I started https://awesome-panel.org to show case live applications. I personally spend 30$ a month on this. This buys me a low end DEV/ TEST server on Azure. I don’t experience any problems. I also run awesome-streamlit.org on the same budget without problems. And it has an amazing number of users.

I have one mitigating proposal. And that is to add binder links to all examples. It is here https://github.com/holoviz/panel/issues/1500. I also believe I have lots of requests to make the sites live on Github. But I could not find them.

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Hi @thejonnyt

I took a look at your link. And maybe something like that (but prettier :-)) should be on the top of almost every page in the Panel site.

The problem is that you might now start from the using - panel section. Then you don’t know that this is not supposed to be interactive on the web site.

This is an opinion and feeling: For me one of the challenges is that the core developers are so closed in with Jupyter. They in that environment all the time. So they don’t experience the same problems as others not coming from a Jupyter background does. Panel and HoloViz has amazing documentation when you know how to use it in the Jupyter Notebook. But in a modern editor and IDE you don’t have a lot because the static analysis tools don’t understand param. I hope that will change one day.

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I didn’t know that this was a known issue and that it’s due to a lack of funds. Sorry to hear that. I hope the project gets enough funds to afford a fix.

Framing it as a lack of funds for hosting the docs isn’t quite right. Panel is well funded in general, and we could totally fund Python-backed apps in the current site for the current level of usage, but doing that would make the website not able to scale. Currently it’s a good thing if usage increases 10X or 100X or 1000X; we fully expect our current web hosting to handle traffic like that. But if we make each page only deliverable if there is a Python server backing that particular session, we would live in fear of Panel becoming very popular, which would quickly make it hit the limits either of our hosting site or our pocketbooks, because we would have to start throwing massive amounts of compute power into it for it to handle such an increase. I don’t want to get us set up for failure like that.

A more direct limitation is a lack of time and funds for writing and maintaining multiple versions of the docs that are both live on the website and work well as examples in a Jupyter notebook. We have no dedicated docs team or even team member; the people who write the code also write an example notebook, and that becomes the docs, with anything further requiring significant additional time and effort. The docs are hosted on a normal web server, not backed by Python, and so anything that depends on Python won’t function in such an environment. Many things still do, thanks to the magic of Panel, but the magic only goes so far, and at some point Python is still needed. So, if we had lots of time we could instead go through each example and make sure it does something useful in a static export, whether that’s to show a static GIF or to embed a limited version of the functionality.

The upshot is that if we had lots of funding we could pay people to do that work or to run a production-class Python-backed website, but that would take about as much funding as the entire project has right now! What I personally think is feasible is for us to make technology for putting a watermark covering any example that won’t be fully functional on the website, warning people that they need to use the notebook or binder version to see that working live. I fully support doing that, but we don’t have anyone working on it right now, and even once we have that bit of code there will still be a good bit of work going through all our docs to make sure it’s applied in all the right cases.

If you need some support to advocate for getting the project to allocate some man-hours to applying that kind of watermark to each example (or even doing something more simple, like just having a banner at the top of each doc page that has at least one example that doesn’t work) then do feel free to throw this post in:

From this user’s perspective, when I saw the pipeline part of the example wasn’t working on the doc page while other parts of the example was working (like moving the sliders), my gut reaction was thinking that Panel is so under-developed that even its own examples in its own docs don’t work. I was about to mark down Panel as being inappropriate for my project due to this.

Most users would leave it at that. I just like open-source projects, which is why I made my first post in this thread. That’s the only reason I learned of the reason for the example not working. But again, most users would just cross off Panel and move onto Dash or Streamlit. So if you want to be able to capture those users, you’ve GOT to either make those examples work or explain to the users that the examples aren’t intended to work.