[IPython-user] python-mode.el and ipython.el

Fernando Perez Fernando.Perez at colorado.edu
Wed Apr 13 11:21:38 CDT 2005

Alexander Schmolck wrote:
> Andrea Riciputi <ariciputi at pito.com> writes:
>>I also use IPython from a terminal for interactive work, and I'm completely
>>satisfied. However, from time to time debugging directely from emacs could be
>>I'll give python-mode.el (4.68 or above) a try, hoping not to experience too
>>many problems. I've also looked at python.el, but it claims to work only with
>>emacs v22 and I'm still at emacs v21. :-(
> May I humbly suggest that you both might be better off with an old (patched
> 4.20) version of python-mode.el? It's what I'm personally using and since I
> both use emacs 21 and wrote ipython.el chances are it will work fine for you
> too as you seem to run the same setup (when I tried CVS python-mode.el a
> couple of months ago it didn't seem to work properly (IIRC paragraph
> formatting was suddenly broken) -- I didn't notice any additional
> functionality in newer versions of python-mode to get excited about (is
> there?), so I just decided to stick to my old version, which happens to work
> for me (emacs21, ipython.el etc.)).

Just to summarize this mess a bit: I posted on the ipython site version 4.70 
of python-mode, simply because that project is glacially slow in making new 
releases, and I wanted people to have an easy (non-CVS) way to grab something 
current, and which would work.  I've tested it with XEmacs, and it works fine. 
  However, it's obvious from the comments of others hers that the situation is 
not so good with GNU Emacs, which is unfortunate.  In the past, the 
python-mode project has been very slow in responding to patches, requests and 
suggestions made by Alex Schmolck, Prabhu and others, so I would not hold my 
breath on seeing these problems fixed too soon.  I get the feeling that 
project is a bit abandoned (not fully, but it certainly doesn't get very 
attentive care).

It seems that the current situation is: if you use XEmacs, feel free to grab v 
4.70 from http://ipython.scipy.org/tmp/python-mode.el (note that even this has 
the problem mentioned of each TAB causing a new In[NN] line to appear).  If 
you use GNU Emacs, you may be better off with Alex's suggestion of his patched 

FWIW, my personal system is to use ipython in a terminal about 95% of the time 
(though I do all my editing in xemacs).  This is just a matter of years of 
habit and inertia.  But for nasty debugging problems, ipython in an emacs 
buffer with pdb and automatic source tracking is really a joy, and for that I 
can only thank Alex many times over.

> p.s. fernando, if you're reading this -- wrt to the problem we couldn't
> resolve -- the only remaining explanation I could think of is that we're
> presumably using different versions of python-mode.el. If it still bothers you
> you could try downgrading (if that indeed is the cause I'll track it down
> sometime; I'd of course like ipython.el to work with the newest (stable)
> python-mode.el but it's not a top priority in life, especially if the newest
> version of python-mode.el doesn't work with my version of emacs).

No worries there, we all have bigger fish to fry.



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