Colab, or Colaboratory, is one of Google’s many projects. It is free for users. It is an interactive working environment. In other words: Colab is JupyterLab, but in a Cloud environment running on Google servers. It is primarily used for data analysis that requires a higher degree of interactivity.

An internet connection is mandatory. To start working, you need to register via email. Everything else is free. You can use multiple programming languages to write code, but Python is best supported. In most cases, there is no need to install additional tools and libraries, as all the most important ones are immediately available.

Projects you work on are automatically saved on Google Drive. Therefore, they can be easily shared. Simultaneous collaborative work on a single document is not possible. Changes made by one user are not visible to other users at the same time.

The document you work on is a worksheet consisting of a list of cells. In addition to editing cells, you can add, delete, and move them. Each cell contains text or program code that can be executed as needed (output). Text cells use Markdown syntax. The output is primarily text but can also be a table, image, graph, HTML, LaTeX, etc. Commands can be accessed from the menu or using the keyboard.

Colab - histogram

The file extension for documents created is the same as for JupyterLab, .ipynb. There is a high degree of compatibility between JupyterLab and Colab documents (except in rare, more complex situations).

Since the program runs on Google servers, it utilizes the processing power and memory of that hardware. The problem may arise when working on more complex projects, as it may slow down. On the other hand, a significant advantage is that you can use sophisticated programming tools on any device with internet access. This means you can view and edit your projects even from a mobile phone.

Due to its simplicity, Colab is more oriented towards beginners compared to JupyterLab. Its target audience includes students of various disciplines and researchers working in artificial intelligence, machine learning, or data analysis and visualization. It has great educational potential. Since this project is backed by Google, everything is very well-documented, and there is a large number of tutorials.

You can try the program HERE




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