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

Ero Carrera ero at dkbza.org
Sun May 9 07:44:06 CDT 2004

On Wed, May 05, 2004 at 11:56:20PM -0600, Fernando Perez wrote:
> 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.

The Python plugin for TeXmacs was a simple a quick hack, and TeXmacs imposes some
limitations that are quite difficult to overcome. (Like the issue with the
spaces in multiline mode, I had to solve it with an inelegant, _very_ dirty

That, together with other issues which I quite don't like in TeXmacs (like its
speed and lack of integration with anything , be it KDE or Gnome), really
encourages me to attempt to implement some of the ideas already mentioned here
as a separate application.

I think that something like a QT based environment, which would probably be way
faster than TeXmacs, could be a really killer scientific workbench. I'm pretty
busy myself, but I think I'll be able to find time to start playing/tinkering
with such project :-)


Ero Carrera                          Anti-Virus Researcher
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