[IPython-user] Traits and IPython (was: IPython development news and prospects)

Brian Granger ellisonbg.net@gmail....
Tue Jan 15 13:49:08 CST 2008

> Hello All,
> I think we should move the discussion concerning a traits dependency to a
> separate thread.
> To summaraize, Fernando developed a config-file module called TConfig, which
> mates the ConfigObj module with the Traits package. We have already
> implemented a TConfig-based system in matplotlib for testing purposes, which
> is turned off by default. Now, to pick up where the discussion left off:
> On Tuesday 15 January 2008 01:56:59 pm Francesc Altet wrote:
> > [...]
> >
> > > > The only downside tconfig has is a dependence on Enthought Traits,
> > > > which has C code.  The upsides are vast, including a *clean* way of
> > > > handling many of the configuration-related problems that pop up
> > > > here all the time.  We can have a separate discussion thread for
> > > > this topic later if you want, because I think it's the only
> > > > potentially contentious one and we don't want to ram it down
> > > > anyone's throat.
> > >
> > > I think having C code in the project will be a major drawback in
> > > getting new developers on windows. Getting a compiler working can be
> > > a lot of work. But the positive aspects of using something trait-like
> > > seems it could definitely be worth it.
> >
> > Yeah, and not only that, but also the deployment of ipython would be
> > more difficult for people that just wants to give ipython a quick try
> > (and that would be valid for all platforms).  So, I would avoid
> > including C code in ipython.  If you really need Traits, I wonder is
> > there is a plain python implementation for it (after all, my guess is
> > that ipython is not needing a lot of performance on that side).
> I don't understand the resistance to depending on a package that includes
> extension code. I could better understand resistance to adding external
> dependencies of any kind, but as long as they are easy to install, does it
> make a difference if they include extension code? The inclusion of TConfig
> would not add any C-code to the IPython codebase, so it shouldn't be a
> drawback to new developers on windows.

We would like IPython to run out of the box on Jython and
IronPython/.NET.  Extension code makes that a no-go.  Also, there are
a number of other platforms where compilers are not present (olpc and
windows) by default.  We really want to reduce the barriers for people
to get ipython going on these other platforms.

Another aspect of this is that readline will no longer be welded to
the core of ipython.  Of course, on linux it will use readline, but in
other contexts, somethings else could be used.


> Darren
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