[SciPy-Dev] [ANN] IPython 1.0 is finally released, nearly 12 years in the making!
Thu Aug 8 20:36:53 CDT 2013
I am incredibly thrilled, on behalf of the amazing IPython Dev Team,
to announce the official release of IPython 1.0 today, an effort
nearly 12 years in the making. The previous version (0.13) was
released on June 30, 2012, and in this development cycle we had:
~12 months of work.
~700 pull requests merged.
~600 issues closed (non-pull requests).
contributions from ~150 authors.
# A little context
What does "1.0" mean for IPython? Obviously IPython has been a staple
of the scientific Python community for years, and we've made every
effort to make it a robust and production ready tool for a long time,
so what exactly do we mean by tagging this particular release as 1.0?
Basically, we feel that the core design of IPython, and the scope of
the project, is where we want it to be.
What we have today is what we consider a reasonably complete, design-
and scope-wise, IPython 1.0: an architecture for interactive
computing, that can drive kernels in a number of ways using a
well-defined protocol, and rich and powerful clients that let users
control those kernels effectively. Our different clients serve
different needs, with the old workhorse of the terminal still being
very useful, but much of our current development energy going into the
Notebook, obviously. The Notebook enables interactive exploration to
become Literate Computing, bridging the gaps from individual work to
collaboration and publication, all with an open file format that is a
direct record of the underlying communication protocol.
There are obviously plenty of open issues (many of them very
important) that need fixing, and large and ambitious new lines of
development for the years to come. But the work of the last four
years, since the summer of 2009 when Brian Granger was able to devote
a summer (thanks to funding from the NiPy project - nipy.org) to
refactoring the old IPython core code, finally opened up or
infrastructure for real innovation. By disentangling what was a useful
but impenetrable codebase, it became possible for us to start building
a flexible, modern system for interactive computing that abstracted
the old REPL model into a generic protocol that kernels could use to
talk to clients. This led at first to the creation of the Qt console,
and then to the Notebook and out-of-process terminal client. It also
allowed us to (finally!) unify our parallel computing machinery with
the rest of the interactive system, which Min Ragan-Kelley pulled off
in a development tour de force that involved rewriting in a few weeks
a huge and complex Twisted-based system.
We are very happy with how the Notebook work has turned out, and it
seems the entire community agrees with us, as the uptake has been
phenomenal. Back from the very first "IPython 0.0.1" that I started
there were already hints of tools like Mathematica: it was my everyday
workhorse as a theoretical physicist and I found its Notebook
environment invaluable. But as a grad student trying out "just an
afternoon hack" (IPython was my very first Python program as I was
learning the language), I didn't have the resources, skills or vision
to attempt building an entire notebook system, and to be honest the
tools of the day would have made that enterprise a miserable one. But
those ideas were always driving our efforts, and as IPython started
becoming a project with a team, we made multiple attempts to get a
good Notebook built around IPython. Those interested can read an old
blog post of mine with the history
The short story is that in 2011, on our sixth attempt, Brian was again
able to devote a focused summer into using our client-server
websockets, Tornado, ...), finally build a robust system for Literate
Computing across programming languages.
Today, thanks to the generous support and vision of Josh Greenberg at
the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, we are working very hard on building
the notebook infrastructure, and this release contains major advances
on that front. We have high hopes for what we'll do next; as a
glimpse of the future that this enables, now there is a native Julia
kernel that speaks to our clients, notebook included:
I can't stress enough how impressed I am with the work people are
doing in IPython, and what a privilege it is to work with colleagues
like these. Brian Granger and Min Ragan-Kelley joined IPython around
2005, initially working on the parallel machinery, but since ~ 2009
they have become the heart of the project. Today Min is our top
committer and knows our codebase better than anyone else, and I can't
imagine better partners for an effort like this.
And from regulars in our core team like Thomas Kluyver, Matthias
Bussonnier, Brad Froehle and Paul Ivanov to newcomers like Jonathan
Frederic and Zach Sailer, in addition to the many more whose names are
in our logs, we have a crazy amount of energy being poured into
IPython. I hope we'll continue to harness it productively!
The full list of contributors to this release can be seen here:
# Release highlights
* nbconvert: this is the major piece of new functionality in this
cycle, and was an explicit part of our roadmap
is now an IPython subcommand to convert notebooks into other formats
such as HTML or LaTeX, but more importantly, it's a very flexible
system that lets you write custom templates to generate new output
with arbitrary control over the formatting and transformations that
are applied to the input.
We want to stress that despite the fact that a huge amount of work
went into nbconvert, this should be considered a *tech preview*
release. We've come to realize how complex this problem is, and while
we'll make every effort to keep the high-level command-line syntax and
APIs as stable as possible, it is quite likely that the internals will
continue to evolve, possibly in backwards-incompatible ways. So if
you start building services and libraries that make heavy use of the
nbconvert internals, please be prepared for some turmoil in the months
to come, and ping us on the dev list with questions or concerns.
* Notebook improvements: there has been a ton of polish work in the
notebook at many levels, though the file format remains unchanged from
0.13, so you shouldn't have any problems sharing notebooks with
colleagues still using 0.13.
- Autosave: probably the most oft-requested feature, the notebook
server now autosaves your files! You can still hit Ctrl-S to force a
manual save (which also creates a special 'checkpoint' you can come
- The notebook supports raw_input(), and thus also %debug. This was
probably the main deficiency of the notebook as a client compared to
the terminal/qtconsole, and it has been finally fixed.
writing raw output in notebook cells.
- Fix an issue parsing LaTeX in markdown cells, which required users
to type \\\, instead of \\.
-Images support width and height metadata, and thereby 2x scaling
- %%file has been renamed %%writefile (%%file) is deprecated.
* The input transofrmation code has been updated and rationalized.
This is a somewhat specialized part of IPython, but of importance to
projects that build upon it for custom environments, like Sympy and
Our full release notes are here:
and the gory details are here:
Installation links and instructions are at: http://ipython.org/install.html
And IPython is also on PyPI: http://pypi.python.org/pypi/ipython
IPython 1.0 requires Python ≥ 2.6.5 or ≥ 3.2.1. It does not support
Python 3.0, 3.1, or 2.5.
Last but not least, we'd like to acknowledge the generous support of
those who make it possible for us to spend our time working on
IPython. In particular, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation today lets us
have a solid team working full-time on the project, and without the
support of Enthought Inc at multiple points in our history, we
wouldn't be where we are today.
The full list of our support is here:
Thanks to everyone! Please enjoy IPython 1.0, and report all bugs as usual!
Fernando, on behalf of the IPython Dev Team.
Fernando Perez (@fperez_org; http://fperez.org)
fperez.net-at-gmail: mailing lists only (I ignore this when swamped!)
fernando.perez-at-berkeley: contact me here for any direct mail
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