[IPython-user] A 'Mathematica Notebook' interface for python work?

Fernando Perez fperez at colorado.edu
Thu May 6 00:56:20 CDT 2004

Ero Carrera wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 30, 2004 at 11:03:04PM -0600, Fernando Perez wrote:
>>here's a very interesting link I saw today:
>>Has anyone seen/played with this before?  It would seem to me that, if 
>>ipython were the shell running in that window, we'd have a lovely 
> Funnily enough, I'm the author of that one. So I've been playing with it quite
> a while ;-)

Wow.  Great to have you here, I had no idea you were on the list.  I actually 
almost added a comment along the lines of 'should I contact the author?' :)

> The possibility of having IPython running on it does not sound farfetched. The
> main reason why it's not, is that I wanted something quick. If there's enough
> interest, I would be willing to attempt to integrate it, as IPython is far
> superior in features that what I've implemented in tmPython.

Well, I personally would love to see something like this.  At some point in
the past, Arnd Baecker implemented a hack to try to save a postscript
'screenshot' of an ipython session along with embedded plots and everything.
Obviously somehting built on top of a framework such as Texmacs looks a lot
more promising.  I don't know how your code works, but you might want to look
at the ipython.el code written by Alex Schmolck for X/Emacs support.  It
provides support for completions, tracebacks, highlighting and pretty much all
of ipython's features within X/Emacs.

While Alex's code works great, I have the impression that Texmacs is a more 
appropriate environment than X/Emacs for having our dream 'Mathematica 
notebook' interface.  I could imagine even implementing styled text regions 
where one could type arbitrarily font-prettifyed text (including mathematics). 
These could simply be encoded inside the resulting file as top-level 
"""strings""" with special markers on their first line defining format.  This 
would allow any 'session' to remain valid python code, while also being (when 
used inside the Texmacs environment) a mathematically commented document.

If you think you are willing to put some effort into this, I'd be _very_ 
willing to do, within my unfortunately rather stringent time limitations, any 
changes to ipython to help along.  I've often said that the last piece truly 
missing to convince many scientists of python's worth is an environment such 
as the ones many are used to in Mathematica and Maple.

Best regards,


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