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Lesson 4: Interactive Forms in Google Colab with Python vs. R

Table of Contents


Google Colab provides a wide range of interactive tools that simplify data exploration and analysis. With features like forms, widgets, and dynamic plotting libraries, Colab offers a robust environment for Python and R enthusiasts alike.

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Let’s explore how these interactive tools can enhance the experience for users of both languages.

Interactive with Forms and Widgets in Python

Forms for Parameterization

Python notebooks offer a convenient way to parameterize code using forms. By incorporating form fields directly into your code cells, users can effortlessly modify parameters without having to edit the code. This feature simplifies the process of experimentation and promotes effective collaboration.

Example: String Fields

# String fields
text = 'value' # @param {type:"string"}
dropdown = '1st option' # @param ["1st option", "2nd option", "3rd option"]
text_and_dropdown = 'value' # @param ["1st option", "2nd option", "3rd option"] {allow-input: true}


Example: Number Fields

# Number fields
number_input = 10.0 # @param {type:"number"}
number_slider = 0 # @param {type:"slider", min:-1, max:1, step:0.1}

integer_input = 10 # @param {type:"integer"}
integer_slider = 1 # @param {type:"slider", min:0, max:100, step:1}


Interactivity with Widgets

Colab supports Jupyter Widgets, enabling the creation of interactive elements like buttons and sliders. These widgets enhance user experience and facilitate data exploration by providing intuitive controls.

Example: Button Widget

import ipywidgets as widgets
from IPython.display import display

button = widgets.Button(description="Click Me!")
output = widgets.Output()

def on_button_clicked(b):
    with output:
        print("Button clicked.")

display(button, output)

Title: Exploring Interactive Widgets in Python with Jupyter Notebooks

Interactive widgets in Python, particularly within Jupyter Notebooks, offer a dynamic and engaging way to interact with code and data. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of interactive widgets and explore their capabilities using Python.

Date Fields

Widgets in Python allow users to input data interactively. For instance, with date fields, users can select dates effortlessly using a date picker widget. Below is an example of how you can interactively input a date:

date_input = '2018-03-22' # @param {type:"date"}

Number Fields

Number fields enable users to input numeric values, with optional sliders for intuitive adjustments. Here’s an example showcasing number fields and sliders:

number_input = 10.0 # @param {type:"number"}
number_slider = 0 # @param {type:"slider", min:-1, max:1, step:0.1}

integer_input = 10 # @param {type:"integer"}
integer_slider = 1 # @param {type:"slider", min:0, max:100, step:1}


Boolean Fields

Boolean fields, represented by checkboxes and dropdowns, allow users to toggle between true or false values. Let’s see how boolean fields work:

boolean_checkbox = True # @param {type:"boolean"}
boolean_dropdown = True # @param ["False", "True"] {type:"raw"}


Markdown Support

Interactive widgets also support Markdown, enabling users to include formatted text and instructions within the widget interface. Below is an example of how Markdown can be incorporated:

### Enter a file path:
file_path = "" # @param {type:"string"}

Show/Hide Code

The flexibility of Jupyter Notebooks allows users to toggle between displaying code and widgets effortlessly. By clicking on “Show code,” users can interactively switch between viewing code snippets and widget inputs, enhancing the overall user experience.

Click and Auto-Run

Widgets can be configured to respond dynamically to user inputs. By clicking “Show code” in the code cell, users can trigger auto-run functionality, allowing for real-time updates based on selected values. Let’s see how this works:

option1 = 'A' # @param ["A", "B", "C"]
print('You selected', option1)

After running this cell manually, it will auto-run if you change the selected value:

option2 = "A" # @param ["A", "B", "C"]
print('You selected', option2)

Interactive widgets in Python, especially within Jupyter Notebooks, offer a versatile and user-friendly way to interact with code and data.

By leveraging the power of interactive widgets, users can explore and manipulate data dynamically, fostering a more engaging and interactive coding experience.

Introduction to Jupyter Widgets

Jupyter Widgets, also known as IPython Widgets, are interactive elements that allow users to manipulate and visualize data in real-time.

These widgets offer a wide range of functionalities, from simple buttons and sliders to more complex interactive visualizations, enhancing the interactivity and usability of Python code within Jupyter Notebooks.

Button Widget

Buttons in Jupyter Widgets enable users to trigger actions or events with a single click. Here’s an example demonstrating the usage of a button widget:

import ipywidgets as widgets
from IPython.display import display

button = widgets.Button(description="Click Me!")
output = widgets.Output()

def on_button_clicked(b):
    # Display the message within the output widget.
    with output:
        print("Button clicked.")

display(button, output)

Slider Widget

Sliders offer an intuitive way to adjust numeric values within a specified range. Let’s explore how sliders can be used to interactively manipulate data:

import ipywidgets as widgets

slider = widgets.IntSlider(value=5, max=10)

# The current value of the slider

Jupyter Widgets provide a seamless and intuitive way to create interactive elements within Python code. By leveraging the power of widgets, developers can build engaging and dynamic user interfaces that enhance the overall user experience.

For more information and examples, refer to the official Jupyter Widgets documentation.

Interactive with Forms and Widgets in R

While Python is the dominant language in Colab, R users can also take advantage of interactive features to enhance their data analysis workflows. Let’s explore how R users can harness similar interactive functionalities.

Forms and Widgets in R

Just like in Python, R users can utilize forms and widgets in Colab notebooks to create dynamic and interactive analyses. From parameterizing code to adding interactive elements, R users can enjoy a seamless interactive experience similar to their Python counterparts.

Example: Number Fields in R

# Number fields
number_input <- 10.0 #@param {type:"number"}
number_slider <- 0 #@param {type:"slider", min:-1, max:1, step:0.1}

integer_input <- 10 #@param {type:"integer"}
integer_slider <- 1 #@param {type:"slider", min:0, max:100, step:1}


Leveraging Markdown in R Notebooks

Markdown cells in R notebooks provide a versatile way to add explanatory text, instructions, or even visualizations. R users can seamlessly integrate Markdown cells to enhance the readability and usability of their notebooks.

# Markdown in Forms
# @markdown You can also include Markdown in forms.

# @markdown ---
# @markdown ### Enter a file path:
file_path <- "" #@param {type:"string"}
# @markdown ---

Can I use R on Google Colab?

Yes, you have the option to utilize R on Google Colab! Even though Colab is mainly designed for Python, you can still execute R code by using an R runtime in a Colab notebook. Here’s a simple guide to get you started:

  • Start a New Notebook: Head over to Google Colab and initiate a new notebook.
  • Choose R Runtime: Within the notebook toolbar, click on “Runtime” and then opt for “Change runtime type”. From the dropdown menu, select “R”.
  • Execute R Code: You are now all set to write and run R code cells just like you would with Python.

While Colab’s R support may not be as robust as its Python support, it offers a convenient platform for running R code, particularly for tasks related to data analysis and visualization.

Moreover, you can easily install additional R packages by using the install.packages() function within your R code cells.

Is Colab for interactive use?

Google Colab is built for interactive and collaborative work. It offers a platform where you can write and run code in a notebook-style layout, facilitating experimentation, data visualization, and sharing your projects with others.

Here are some key aspects of Colab that enhance its interactivity:

  • Notebook Interface: Colab utilizes Jupyter notebooks, allowing you to segment your code into cells and execute them one by one. This interactive setup supports iterative development and testing.
  • Code Execution: You can run code cells individually by using Shift + Enter or clicking the play button beside each cell. This feature enables you to instantly view your code outputs and make necessary adjustments.
  • Real-time Collaboration: Colab permits multiple users to collaborate on the same notebook simultaneously. Any modifications made by one user are immediately visible to others, facilitating seamless teamwork on projects.
  • Interactivity with Forms and Widgets: Colab offers interactive elements like forms and widgets, enabling users to modify parameters, make selections, and engage with visualizations directly within the notebook interface.
  • Rich Output: Colab notebooks can showcase diverse outputs, such as interactive plots, images, videos, and more. This enriches the interactive experience by allowing you to visualize data and outcomes directly within the notebook.

Does Google Colab only work with Python?

Is Google Colab good for ml?

Yes, Google Colab primarily focuses on Python, but it also offers some support for other programming languages like R and Julia.

Nevertheless, Python is still the most comprehensive language in Colab, offering built-in support for Python libraries, extensive documentation, and seamless integration with Google Cloud services.

Can I create forms with Python?

Absolutely yes! You have the ability to develop interactive forms in Python by utilizing tools such as ipywidgets and ipython-inputs.

With these resources, you can incorporate different input widgets like text boxes, sliders, dropdowns, checkboxes, and buttons into your Python code cells. This feature allows users to dynamically modify parameters and inputs.

It’s especially handy for crafting interactive data analysis tools, parameter tuning interfaces, or dynamic visualizations in Jupyter notebooks or Google Colab.

Can you mix R and Python?

Yes, it is absolutely possible to combine R and Python code in either a Jupyter notebook or a Google Colab notebook. This compatibility enables you to take advantage of the unique capabilities of both languages within a single environment.

For instance, you can utilize Python for tasks like data preprocessing and visualization, and seamlessly switch to R for statistical analysis, or vice versa.

Google Colab notebooks support various kernels, such as Python, R, and Julia, making it effortless to switch between languages within the same notebook.

What is forms in Python?

In Python, forms are usually referred to as interactive input elements that enable users to provide inputs or adjust parameters within code cells in Jupyter notebooks or similar environments.

Libraries like ipywidgets, ipython-inputs, or built-in Jupyter magic commands like %gui can be used to create these forms.

These forms can consist of different input widgets like text boxes, sliders, dropdowns, checkboxes, and buttons. They allow users to interactively modify inputs or parameters and observe the effects on the code output.

What is the difference between Python and R in tabular form?

SyntaxGeneral-purpose programming languageStatistical computing and graphics
PackagesRich ecosystem for data science and MLComprehensive packages for statistics
Data StructuresLists, tuples, dictionaries, arraysVectors, matrices, data frames, lists
Data ManipulationPandas, NumPy, scikit-learndplyr, tidyr, data.table
VisualizationMatplotlib, Seaborn, Plotlyggplot2, lattice, base R plotting
Statistical AnalysisSciPy, statsmodelsBuilt-in functions, external packages
Machine Learningscikit-learn, TensorFlow, PyTorchCaret, MLR, TensorFlow, Keras
Community SupportLarge and active communityLarge and active community

Here are a few important distinctions between Python and R: syntax, packages, data structures, data manipulation, visualization, statistical analysis, machine learning, and community support.

Python and R are both extensively utilized for data analysis and statistical computing, but they possess unique characteristics and advantages that cater to various preferences and applications.

Why use r instead of Python?

Deciding between R and Python relies on the particular needs of the project, the user’s preferences, and the current ecosystem and infrastructure of the organization or research community.

Python is known for its flexibility and widespread use, especially in data science and machine learning, while R is favored for statistical computing and data analysis, especially in academic and research environments.

There are multiple reasons why one might opt for R over Python for specific data analysis or statistical computing tasks:

  • Specialized Packages: R boasts a wide array of specialized packages tailored for statistical analysis, econometrics, and data visualization. Packages such as ggplot2, dplyr, and tidyr provide robust tools for data manipulation and visualization, while packages like lme4 and survival offer advanced statistical modeling capabilities.
  • Statistical Capabilities: R was created with a strong emphasis on statistical computing, with syntax and built-in functions optimized for statistical analysis. R’s formula notation simplifies the specification of complex statistical models, and its built-in functions for hypothesis testing, regression analysis, and time series analysis are widely utilized by statisticians and researchers.
  • Data Visualization: R is renowned for its exceptional data visualization capabilities, especially through packages like ggplot2. These packages enable users to generate highly customizable and publication-quality plots with relatively straightforward code, making it a preferred option for data visualization in academic research and data journalism.
  • Community and Resources: R boasts a vibrant and extensive community of users, developers, and contributors who develop and maintain packages, share code snippets and tutorials, and offer support through forums and mailing lists. This abundance of resources can be incredibly beneficial for learning R and resolving issues.
  • Integration with Academic Research: R is widely utilized in academic research, particularly in fields such as statistics, economics, and social sciences. Many academic journals and research institutions have embraced R as their preferred tool for data analysis and visualization, making familiarity with R advantageous for researchers and students in these fields.

How to make a GUI form in Python?

You can create GUI forms in Python using various libraries, but one of the most popular and versatile options is tkinter, which is the standard GUI toolkit for Python. Here’s a simple example of how to create a GUI form using tkinter:

import tkinter as tk
from tkinter import ttk

# Create the main window
root = tk.Tk()
root.title("GUI Form")

# Create a label
label = ttk.Label(root, text="Enter your name:")

# Create an entry widget
name_entry = ttk.Entry(root)

# Function to handle button click
def submit_form():
    name = name_entry.get()
    if name:
        message = f"Hello, {name}! Form submitted successfully."
        result_label.config(text="Please enter your name.")

# Create a button
submit_button = ttk.Button(root, text="Submit", command=submit_form)

# Create a label to display the result
result_label = ttk.Label(root, text="")

# Run the GUI

With this code, you can easily create a basic GUI form that includes a label, an entry widget for inputting a name, a submit button, and a label to show the result. Whenever the user clicks the submit button, the submit_form function is triggered to fetch the name entered in the entry widget and display a corresponding message.

Feel free to personalize the form by incorporating more widgets, customizing the style, handling events, and adding extra functionality as required. tkinter offers a vast selection of widgets and choices to develop interactive GUI applications in Python.

How does Django handle forms?

Django offers a robust form handling system that plays a crucial role in developing web applications. It simplifies the entire process of gathering, validating, and processing user input from web forms.

Here’s an overview of how Django handles forms:

  • Form Definition: In Django, forms are defined using Python classes that inherit from the django.forms.Form or django.forms.ModelForm class. These form classes define the fields and their corresponding validation rules.
   from django import forms

   class MyForm(forms.Form):
       name = forms.CharField(max_length=100)
       email = forms.EmailField()
       message = forms.CharField(widget=forms.Textarea)
  • Rendering Forms in Templates: Once a form is defined, you can render it in your Django templates using the {{ form }} template tag. This tag automatically generates HTML markup for each form field based on the field definition.
   <form method="post">
       {% csrf_token %}
       {{ form.as_p }}
       <button type="submit">Submit</button>
  • Form Validation: When a form is submitted, Django automatically performs validation on each field based on the field’s validation rules specified in the form class. If any fields fail validation, errors are added to the form instance, and the invalid fields are highlighted in the rendered form.
  • Handling Form Submissions: After a form is submitted, Django provides mechanisms for handling form submissions in views. When processing form submissions, Django distinguishes between GET and POST requests. Typically, form submissions are handled in POST requests.
   from django.shortcuts import render, redirect
   from .forms import MyForm

   def my_view(request):
       if request.method == 'POST':
           form = MyForm(request.POST)
           if form.is_valid():
               # Process the form data
               name = form.cleaned_data['name']
               email = form.cleaned_data['email']
               message = form.cleaned_data['message']
               # Perform further processing (e.g., saving to database)
               return redirect('success_url')
           form = MyForm()
       return render(request, 'my_template.html', {'form': form})
  • CSRF Protection: Django provides built-in protection against Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks by including a CSRF token in forms. You can include the CSRF token in your forms using the {% csrf_token %} template tag.
  • Form Validation Errors: If a form fails validation, Django automatically renders the form with error messages for each invalid field. You can access these error messages in your templates using the {{ form.field.errors }} template tag.

Django’s form handling system simplifies the process of working with web forms, allowing you to quickly create and validate forms and handle form submissions in your Django applications.

Does Python have a GUI?

These libraries and frameworks vary in complexity, flexibility, and platform support, giving you the freedom to choose the best option for your project needs and preferences.

Python provides a range of choices for developing graphical user interfaces, whether you’re working on a simple desktop app or a sophisticated multi-platform GUI.

Python offers a variety of libraries and frameworks for creating graphical user interfaces (GUIs). Here are some popular options:

  • Tkinter: Tkinter is the default GUI toolkit for Python and is included in most Python installations. It offers a straightforward interface for developing desktop GUI applications.
  • PyQt / PySide: PyQt and PySide are Python bindings for the Qt framework, a robust GUI toolkit. PyQt can be used under a GPL or commercial license, while PySide is available under the LGPL. Both support building cross-platform GUI applications with a native look.
  • wxPython: wxPython is a Python binding for the wxWidgets C++ library, another cross-platform GUI toolkit. It provides native widgets and tools for creating desktop applications.
  • Kivy: Kivy is an open-source Python framework for building multi-touch applications. It is ideal for developing cross-platform applications for desktop, mobile, and touch-enabled devices.
  • PyGTK: PyGTK offers Python bindings for the GTK toolkit, commonly used in Linux and GNOME desktop environments. It enables developers to create GTK-based applications using Python.

Why we use forms py in Django?

Here’s the revised content presented in a table format along with a code example:

Simplified Data ValidationDjango’s form classes define fields and their validation rules, ensuring that only valid data is processed.
Enhanced Security MeasuresDjango forms include built-in protection against Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks, bolstering application security.
Seamless Error HandlingDjango automatically re-renders forms with error messages for invalid fields, facilitating swift error correction by users.
Reusability and ConvenienceForm classes in Django facilitate effortless reuse across multiple views and templates, promoting code maintainability.
Integration with ModelsModelForm classes enable the automatic generation of forms based on existing models, simplifying CRUD operations on database records.
Customizability and ExtensibilityDjango forms offer extensive customization options, allowing developers to tailor forms to suit specific requirements.

Forms with py in Django Code Example

from django import forms

class ContactForm(forms.Form):
    name = forms.CharField(label='Your Name', max_length=100)
    email = forms.EmailField(label='Your Email')
    message = forms.CharField(label='Your Message', widget=forms.Textarea)

# Example view handling form submission
from django.shortcuts import render, redirect

def contact_view(request):
    if request.method == 'POST':
        form = ContactForm(request.POST)
        if form.is_valid():
            # Process valid form data
            name = form.cleaned_data['name']
            email = form.cleaned_data['email']
            message = form.cleaned_data['message']
            # Further processing (e.g., sending email)
            return redirect('success_url')
        form = ContactForm()
    return render(request, 'contact.html', {'form': form})

This piece of code creates a basic contact form in Django by utilizing a form class. The form consists of fields for the user’s name, email, and message.

Once the form is submitted, the view verifies the validity of the form data and handles it accordingly. In case the form is found to be invalid, error messages are shown to the user.


Python and R users alike can take advantage of the interactive capabilities provided by Google Colab to enhance their data analysis workflows.

Whether you want to parameterize your code with forms, incorporate interactive widgets, or utilize Markdown for documentation, Colab offers a robust platform for interactive data exploration and analysis in both languages.

So whether you’re a Python expert or an R enthusiast, delve into Colab and discover the countless possibilities of interactive data analysis!


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