Mismatch between website and the book

Hello everyone,

I started to read How to build a brain and on the 26th page, I am required to create a single neuron using the “template bar”. I followed the instructions on the website but what I have is a GUI interface with python code on the side. It does not look like the separate program in the book and there isn’t a template bar. I found some tutorials and there is a single neuron but I feel like this mismatch will be a problem in the future. What should I do?

Also in the book we are required to create a single neuron by first creating a network. How can I do this?

Thank you in advance

Hi @mkusku, welcome to the forum!

The How to Build a Brain book was published in 2015. At that time, the most commonly used version of Nengo was 1.4, which is still available on Github.

However, shortly after the book was published, we rewrote Nengo in Python. That rewritten version is what we now think of as Nengo and is what we talk about on the website. While we do have some plans to update the current Nengo GUI to have things similar to the “template bar” and other features from Nengo 1.4’s GUI, it is currently not possible to build models in the GUI, just visualize them.

You can still follow along with the tutorials in the book, though! In the new Nengo GUI, we have all of the tutorials from the book available as built-in examples. See this page for how to access them. They’re in the hbb_tutorials folder. Each tutorial in the book has an associated .py file that reproduces the plots in the book. You won’t necessarily be able to follow along with all the steps, but hopefully there’s enough interactivity that you can still play around with the models and get the ideas from the book.

Hope that helps!

I’ll do that. Thank you @tbekolay! It helped a lot.

I also found a mismatch between the book and the included examples, not only because of the 1.4=>2.0 transition but also because of the change in the SPA API in 3.0.
If it helps, I rewrote the HBB examples that use the old nengo.spa system into the new nengo_spa framework and would be happy to share them.

Hi @Tioz, that’s a great point, we haven’t updated the examples for the new SPA changes. I wasn’t sure if the GUI itself had been updated to understand the objects in the new nengo_spa framework, but if they are working for you then it would be great to update them! We’d definitely appreciate you making a pull request to update those examples on the Nengo GUI Github repo. Note, however, that Nengo GUI isn’t fully open source, so we require contributors to sign the contributor assignment agreement.

Sorry for the late reply. Thank you! And It would be really great if you’d share them with me.

Absolutely! Here you go :slight_smile:


My pull request was not accepted yet; as soon as it is, I’ll be uploading the updated tutorials to the repo.