[IPython-dev] --pylab flag deprecated

Fernando Perez fperez.net@gmail....
Wed Mar 5 09:07:42 CST 2014


Hi Vasco,

the recommended approach, that will make in the long run your notebooks
more readable, is to use

%matplotlib inline
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

atop your notebooks. That will make it easier to know what comes from
where.  Now, if you *really* want to have a lot of top-level plotting and
numerical functions, and are willing to pay the price that for example
doing a lot of automatic imports clobbers the built-in python sum()
function with numpy.sum() (which can cause some surprises), you can still do

%pylab inline

at the top.  We will probably never remove this, partly because it's still
useful for *quick and dirty* analysis where you just want to do something
fast with minimal overhead, and is mostly throw-away scratch work.  This
kind of typing economy is also still very useful at the console.

But in the long run, our experience is that notebooks tend to linger for a
long time: in that scenario, it's worth paying the price of slightly more
verbose code with explicit imports, in order to reap the benefits of
readability in the long run.

Cheers,

f


On Wed, Mar 5, 2014 at 4:05 AM, Vasco Tenner <vasco+python@tenner.nl> wrote:

> Hi,
> I used to start ipython notebook with the --pylab flag, so I have all
> kinds of usefull functions directly available. By guessing and
> tab-completion many usefull functions, for data analysis popped up.
> (like plot, display etc).
>
> Now the --pylab flag will deprecate soon, what is the best alternative
> for an interactive environment. I already found it usefull to import
> from pylab:
>
> from pylab import *
>
> However, the --pylab flag did more: it also loaded a bunch of ipython
> functions, like IPython.display.display.
>
> Is there a preffered way to load this? To configure this in some
> enviroment?
>
> I just found the
> %pylab
> magic. Should I put this in the top cell of all my notebooks? What
> should I advice to my starting collegues?
>
> Groet,
> Vasco
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>



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Fernando Perez (@fperez_org; http://fperez.org)
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