In [ ]:
import base64
from __future__ import print_function # py 2.7 compat.
from IPython.html import widgets # Widget definitions.
from traitlets import Unicode # Traitlet needed to add synced attributes to the widget.

This is a custom widget that allows the user to upload file data to the notebook server. The file data is sent via a statefull value attribute of the widget. The widget has an upload failed event that fires in the front-end and is echoed to the back-end using a custom msg.

In [ ]:
class FileWidget(widgets.DOMWidget):
    _view_name = Unicode('FilePickerView', sync=True)
    value = Unicode(sync=True)
    filename = Unicode(sync=True)
    def __init__(self, **kwargs):
        widgets.DOMWidget.__init__(self, **kwargs) # Call the base.
        # Allow the user to register error callbacks with the following signatures:
        #    callback()
        #    callback(sender)
        self.errors = widgets.CallbackDispatcher(accepted_nargs=[0, 1])
        # Listen for custom msgs

    def _handle_custom_msg(self, content):
        """Handle a msg from the front-end.

        content: dict
            Content of the msg."""
        if 'event' in content and content['event'] == 'error':
In [ ]:

require(["widgets/js/widget", "widgets/js/manager"], function(widget, manager){

    var FilePickerView = widget.DOMWidgetView.extend({
        render: function(){
            // Render the view.
            this.setElement($('<input />')
                .attr('type', 'file'));
        events: {
            // List of events and their handlers.
            'change': 'handle_file_change',
        handle_file_change: function(evt) { 
            // Handle when the user has changed the file.
            // Retrieve the first (and only!) File from the FileList object
            var file =[0];
            if (file) {

                // Read the file's textual content and set value to those contents.
                var that = this;
                var file_reader = new FileReader();
                file_reader.onload = function(e) {
            } else {

                // The file couldn't be opened.  Send an error msg to the
                // back-end.
                this.send({ 'event': 'error' });

            // Set the filename of the file.
    // Register the DatePickerView with the widget manager.
    manager.WidgetManager.register_widget_view('FilePickerView', FilePickerView);

The following shows how the file widget can be used.

In [ ]:
file_widget = FileWidget()

# Register an event to echo the filename when it has been changed.
def file_loading():
    print("Loading %s" % file_widget.filename)
file_widget.on_trait_change(file_loading, 'filename')

# Register an event to echo the filename and contents when a file
# has been uploaded.
def file_loaded():
    print("Loaded, file contents: %s" % file_widget.value)
file_widget.on_trait_change(file_loaded, 'value')

# Register an event to print an error message when a file could not
# be opened.  Since the error messages are not handled through
# traitlets but instead handled through custom msgs, the registration
# of the handler is different than the two examples above.  Instead
# the API provided by the CallbackDispatcher must be used.
def file_failed():
    print("Could not load file contents of %s" % file_widget.filename)