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Oriole Online Tutorials: Learning through narrative and computable content

March 21, 2016

O'Reilly debuts new learning medium

SEBASTOPOL, CA, March 21, 2016—O'Reilly Media introduces Oriole Online Tutorials, a unique new medium that blends code, data, text, and video into a narrated learning experience with computable content. Oriole Online Tutorials run on HTML pages driven by Jupyter notebooks.

"There are people who learn by reading, there are people who learn more when they listen to someone else explain, and almost everyone learns best by doing," said Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media. "But what's totally amazing is when you can put text, executable code, and a brilliant teacher explaining what you're reading and doing into one integrated package. That's what we've done with Oriole Online Tutorials."

Led by some of the most brilliant minds in technology, each tutorial offers an accessible and engaging thought-by-thought tour of the instructor's approach to the problem, presented in both narrative and executable code. Each Oriole Online Tutorial requires only an internet connection and laptop, with no set-up or installation necessary. Users can write and run code within the environment, then revise the code and run it again.

O'Reilly launches Oriole Online Tutorials with two free demos—Regex golf with Peter Norvig and Design principles for digital services with Ben Terrett and Mike Bracken—and one tutorial available for purchase—Probabilistic data structures in Python with Paco Nathan.

  • In Regex golf, Google Research Director Peter Norvig explains how to write Python code by playing Regex golf (create the shortest possible regular expression algorithm to determine winners and losers of presidential elections) and demonstrates, with live code, his choices, his mistakes, and how he corrects them.

Fernando Perez, creator of IPython, which evolved into Project Jupyter, said, "Peter Norvig's posts as Jupyter Notebooks are renowned for weaving the thought process of solving a computational problem with exceptional clarity, balancing the human narrative and code in complementary threads. In his Oriole Online Tutorial, we get the complete integration of video synchronized with the flow of the text, as well as the ability to execute the code: this is probably as close as we can get to learning side-by-side with Peter himself."

  • In Design principles for digital services, Ben Terrett and Mike Bracken outline the 10 design principles used by the UK Government Digital Service, which transformed public sector services to a "digital by default" model by putting the user first to deliver the best, low-cost public services possible.
  • In Probabilistic data structures in Python, Paco Nathan demonstrates Python examples from several well-known probabilistic data structures (or approximation algorithms). Used with error bounds, approximation algorithms are popular in large scale and streaming analytics because they allow you to make trade-offs with system resources like memory or compute time.

Upcoming products include Deep learning with Melanie Warrick of Skymind; Distributed analytics with Apache Spark with Jeremy Freeman of HHMI Janelia Research Campus and Matthew Conlen of the New York Data Company and FiveThirtyEight; and Tensors: Spectral LDA in Spark with Anima Anandkumar and Furong Huang of UC Irvine.

O'Reilly's Oriole Online Tutorials offer a new online learning experience, giving the learner a way to learn alongside smart people solving hard problems. Follow #OReillyOriole.

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