Simple widget

Let’s build a stock price fetcher. We will allow the user to enter a stock ticker symbol and fetch information about the current stock price from the Quandl API. The code for this example is also available in examples/stock_price.

# example.py

from urllib.request import urlopen
from urllib.error import HTTPError

import json

import ipywidgets as widgets

BASE_URL = 'https://www.quandl.com/api/v3/datasets/WIKI/{}.json?rows=1'

stock_input = widgets.Text('GOOG')
fetch_button = widgets.Button(description='FETCH')
result_container = widgets.HBox([

def get_stock_price(symbol):
    """ Fetch stock price for `symbol` from quandl API """
    with urlopen(BASE_URL.format(symbol)) as response:
        response_json = json.loads(response.read())
    return response_json['dataset']['data'][0][1]

def handle_fetch_error(error, symbol):
    if error.code == 404:
        message = 'Stock symbol {} not found'.format(symbol)
        message = 'Unexpected error'
    result_container.children = [widgets.Label(message)]

def on_button_click(arg):
    """ Callback when 'fetch' button is clicked """
    # Disable widgets to give feedback that something is happening
    stock_input.disabled = True
    fetch_button.disabled = True

    # Fetch the stock price
    symbol = stock_input.value.upper()
        stock_price = get_stock_price(symbol)
        result_container.children = [
            widgets.Text(str(stock_price), disabled=True)
    except HTTPError as error:
        handle_fetch_error(error, symbol)

    # Re-enable the widgets
    stock_input.disabled = False
    fetch_button.disabled = False


container = widgets.VBox([
    widgets.HBox([stock_input, fetch_button]),

To run the example, enter this shell command:

$ ipywidgets-server example:container

This will serve this example on the default port, 8866. Visit with your browser, and you should see the widget.

We note the following:

  • we wrap all the widgets into a top-level container, container. This is the widget we then ask ipywidgets-server to display.
  • when the user presses the FETCH button, they should receive some feedback that the application is processing their request. Disabling the user inputs is an easy way to provide this feedback.
  • depending on whether the stock price fetch was successful, we either display a text widget with the stock price, or a label widget with an error message. To render different widgets conditionally, we anchor a container (an HBox) and swap the container’s children.