[IPython-user] Log options at ipython startup

Gökhan Sever gokhansever@gmail....
Wed Jan 13 15:47:26 CST 2010

On Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 2:16 PM, Robert Kern <robert.kern@gmail.com> wrote:

> On 2010-01-13 13:42 PM, Fernando Perez wrote:
> > On Tue, Jan 12, 2010 at 2:37 PM, Gökhan Sever<gokhansever@gmail.com>
>  wrote:
> >> I learnt this trick from Pierre Raybaut of PythonXY. There is a log file
> per
> >> day and time-stamping per session. I am sure it could easily modified to
> log
> >> everything in a file and with a time stamp if this is what you need.
> >
> > Contribution to the cookbook?
> >
> > http://ipython.scipy.org/moin/Cookbook
> Or just replace my old tip in the official docs (which uses the ancient
> ipythonrc syntax and should be removed if nothing else):
> http://ipython.scipy.org/doc/manual/html/interactive/tutorial.html#effective-logging

I added my lines as an alternative logging option. I am attaching the
updated file.


Could you please update .../docs/source/interactive/tutorial.txt with mine?

> --
> Robert Kern
> "I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless
> enigma
>  that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it
> had
>  an underlying truth."
>   -- Umberto Eco
> _______________________________________________
> IPython-user mailing list
> IPython-user@scipy.org
> http://mail.scipy.org/mailman/listinfo/ipython-user

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.. _tutorial:

Quick IPython tutorial

IPython can be used as an improved replacement for the Python prompt,
and for that you don't really need to read any more of this manual. But
in this section we'll try to summarize a few tips on how to make the
most effective use of it for everyday Python development, highlighting
things you might miss in the rest of the manual (which is getting long).
We'll give references to parts in the manual which provide more detail
when appropriate.

The following article by Jeremy Jones provides an introductory tutorial
about IPython: http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/python/2005/01/27/ipython.html


Tab completion

TAB-completion, especially for attributes, is a convenient way to explore the
structure of any object you're dealing with. Simply type object_name.<TAB> and
a list of the object's attributes will be printed (see :ref:`the readline
section <readline>` for more). Tab completion also works on file and directory
names, which combined with IPython's alias system allows you to do from within
IPython many of the things you normally would need the system shell for.

Explore your objects

Typing object_name? will print all sorts of details about any object,
including docstrings, function definition lines (for call arguments) and
constructor details for classes. The magic commands %pdoc, %pdef, %psource
and %pfile will respectively print the docstring, function definition line,
full source code and the complete file for any object (when they can be
found). If automagic is on (it is by default), you don't need to type the '%'
explicitly. See :ref:`this section <dynamic_object_info>` for more.

The `%run` magic command

The %run magic command allows you to run any python script and load all of its
data directly into the interactive namespace. Since the file is re-read from
disk each time, changes you make to it are reflected immediately (in contrast
to the behavior of import). I rarely use import for code I am testing, relying
on %run instead. See :ref:`this section <magic>` for more on this and other
magic commands, or type the name of any magic command and ? to get details on
it. See also :ref:`this section <dreload>` for a recursive reload command. %run
also has special flags for timing the execution of your scripts (-t) and for
executing them under the control of either Python's pdb debugger (-d) or
profiler (-p). With all of these, %run can be used as the main tool for
efficient interactive development of code which you write in your editor of

Debug a Python script

Use the Python debugger, pdb. The %pdb command allows you to toggle on and off
the automatic invocation of an IPython-enhanced pdb debugger (with coloring,
tab completion and more) at any uncaught exception. The advantage of this is
that pdb starts inside the function where the exception occurred, with all data
still available. You can print variables, see code, execute statements and even
walk up and down the call stack to track down the true source of the problem
(which often is many layers in the stack above where the exception gets
triggered). Running programs with %run and pdb active can be an efficient to
develop and debug code, in many cases eliminating the need for print statements
or external debugging tools. I often simply put a 1/0 in a place where I want
to take a look so that pdb gets called, quickly view whatever variables I need
to or test various pieces of code and then remove the 1/0. Note also that '%run
-d' activates pdb and automatically sets initial breakpoints for you to step
through your code, watch variables, etc.  The :ref:`output caching section
<output_caching>` has more details.

Use the output cache

All output results are automatically stored in a global dictionary named Out
and variables named _1, _2, etc. alias them. For example, the result of input
line 4 is available either as Out[4] or as _4. Additionally, three variables
named _, __ and ___ are always kept updated with the for the last three
results. This allows you to recall any previous result and further use it for
new calculations. See :ref:`the output caching section <output_caching>` for

Suppress output

Put a ';' at the end of a line to suppress the printing of output. This is
useful when doing calculations which generate long output you are not
interested in seeing. The _* variables and the Out[] list do get updated with
the contents of the output, even if it is not printed. You can thus still
access the generated results this way for further processing.

Input cache

A similar system exists for caching input. All input is stored in a global
list called In , so you can re-execute lines 22 through 28 plus line 34 by
typing 'exec In[22:29]+In[34]' (using Python slicing notation). If you need
to execute the same set of lines often, you can assign them to a macro with
the %macro function. See :ref:`here <input_caching>` for more.

Use your input history

The %hist command can show you all previous input, without line numbers if
desired (option -n) so you can directly copy and paste code either back in
IPython or in a text editor. You can also save all your history by turning on
logging via %logstart; these logs can later be either reloaded as IPython
sessions or used as code for your programs.

Define your own system aliases

Even though IPython gives you access to your system shell via the ! prefix,
it is convenient to have aliases to the system commands you use most often.
This allows you to work seamlessly from inside IPython with the same commands
you are used to in your system shell. IPython comes with some pre-defined
aliases and a complete system for changing directories, both via a stack (see
%pushd, %popd and %dhist) and via direct %cd. The latter keeps a history of
visited directories and allows you to go to any previously visited one.

Call system shell commands

Use Python to manipulate the results of system commands. The '!!' special
syntax, and the %sc and %sx magic commands allow you to capture system output
into Python variables.

Use Python variables when calling the shell

Expand python variables when calling the shell (either via '!' and '!!' or via
aliases) by prepending a $ in front of them. You can also expand complete
python expressions. See :ref:`our shell section <system_shell_access>` for
more details.

Use profiles

Use profiles to maintain different configurations (modules to load, function
definitions, option settings) for particular tasks. You can then have
customized versions of IPython for specific purposes. :ref:`This section
<profiles>` has more details.

Embed IPython in your programs

A few lines of code are enough to load a complete IPython inside your own
programs, giving you the ability to work with your data interactively after
automatic processing has been completed. See :ref:`here <embedding>` for more.

Use the Python profiler

When dealing with performance issues, the %run command with a -p option
allows you to run complete programs under the control of the Python profiler.
The %prun command does a similar job for single Python expressions (like
function calls).

Use IPython to present interactive demos

Use the IPython.demo.Demo class to load any Python script as an interactive
demo. With a minimal amount of simple markup, you can control the execution of
the script, stopping as needed. See :ref:`here <interactive_demos>` for more.

Run doctests

Run your doctests from within IPython for development and debugging. The
special %doctest_mode command toggles a mode where the prompt, output and
exceptions display matches as closely as possible that of the default Python
interpreter. In addition, this mode allows you to directly paste in code that
contains leading '>>>' prompts, even if they have extra leading whitespace
(as is common in doctest files). This combined with the '%history -tn' call
to see your translated history (with these extra prompts removed and no line
numbers) allows for an easy doctest workflow, where you can go from doctest
to interactive execution to pasting into valid Python code as needed.

Source code handling tips

IPython is a line-oriented program, without full control of the
terminal. Therefore, it doesn't support true multiline editing. However,
it has a number of useful tools to help you in dealing effectively with
more complex editing.

The %edit command gives a reasonable approximation of multiline editing,
by invoking your favorite editor on the spot. IPython will execute the
code you type in there as if it were typed interactively. Type %edit?
for the full details on the edit command.

If you have typed various commands during a session, which you'd like to
reuse, IPython provides you with a number of tools. Start by using %hist
to see your input history, so you can see the line numbers of all input.
Let us say that you'd like to reuse lines 10 through 20, plus lines 24
and 28. All the commands below can operate on these with the syntax::

    %command 10-20 24 28 

where the command given can be:

    * %macro <macroname>: this stores the lines into a variable which,
      when called at the prompt, re-executes the input. Macros can be
      edited later using '%edit macroname', and they can be stored
      persistently across sessions with '%store macroname' (the storage
      system is per-profile). The combination of quick macros,
      persistent storage and editing, allows you to easily refine
      quick-and-dirty interactive input into permanent utilities, always
      available both in IPython and as files for general reuse.
    * %edit: this will open a text editor with those lines pre-loaded
      for further modification. It will then execute the resulting
      file's contents as if you had typed it at the prompt.
    * %save <filename>: this saves the lines directly to a named file on

While %macro saves input lines into memory for interactive re-execution,
sometimes you'd like to save your input directly to a file. The %save
magic does this: its input sytnax is the same as %macro, but it saves
your input directly to a Python file. Note that the %logstart command
also saves input, but it logs all input to disk (though you can
temporarily suspend it and reactivate it with %logoff/%logon); %save
allows you to select which lines of input you need to save.

Lightweight 'version control'

When you call %edit with no arguments, IPython opens an empty editor
with a temporary file, and it returns the contents of your editing
session as a string variable. Thanks to IPython's output caching
mechanism, this is automatically stored::

    In [1]: %edit

    IPython will make a temporary file named: /tmp/ipython_edit_yR-HCN.py

    Editing... done. Executing edited code...

    hello - this is a temporary file

    Out[1]: "print 'hello - this is a temporary file'\n"

Now, if you call '%edit -p', IPython tries to open an editor with the
same data as the last time you used %edit. So if you haven't used %edit
in the meantime, this same contents will reopen; however, it will be
done in a new file. This means that if you make changes and you later
want to find an old version, you can always retrieve it by using its
output number, via '%edit _NN', where NN is the number of the output

Continuing with the example above, this should illustrate this idea::

    In [2]: edit -p

    IPython will make a temporary file named: /tmp/ipython_edit_nA09Qk.py

    Editing... done. Executing edited code...

    hello - now I made some changes

    Out[2]: "print 'hello - now I made some changes'\n"

    In [3]: edit _1

    IPython will make a temporary file named: /tmp/ipython_edit_gy6-zD.py

    Editing... done. Executing edited code...

    hello - this is a temporary file

    IPython version control at work :)

    Out[3]: "print 'hello - this is a temporary file'\nprint 'IPython version control at work :)'\n"

This section was written after a contribution by Alexander Belchenko on
the IPython user list.

Effective logging

A very useful suggestion sent in by Robert Kern follows:

I recently happened on a nifty way to keep tidy per-project log files. I
made a profile for my project (which is called "parkfield")::

    include ipythonrc

    # cancel earlier logfile invocation:

    logfile ''

    execute import time

    execute __cmd = '/Users/kern/research/logfiles/parkfield-%s.log rotate'

    execute __IP.magic_logstart(__cmd % time.strftime('%Y-%m-%d'))

I also added a shell alias for convenience::

    alias parkfield="ipython -pylab -profile parkfield" 

Now I have a nice little directory with everything I ever type in,
organized by project and date.

Logging to a file

Here is an alternative logging solution that lets you record your sessions in
a daily time-stamped log-files.

Add the following lines or make it a-like to your ipy_user_conf.py:

	from time import strftime

	def main():   

		ldir = '/home/username/.ipython/'
		filename = os.path.join(ldir, strftime('%Y-%m-%d')+".py")
		notnew = os.path.exists(filename)
		ip.IP.logger.logstart(logfname=filename, logmode='append')
		if notnew:
		    ip.IP.logger.log_write("# =================================")
		    ip.IP.logger.log_write("""#!/usr/bin/env python \n# %s.py \n# IPython automatic logging file""" % strftime('%Y-%m-%d'))
		ip.IP.logger.log_write("""# %s \n# =================================""" % strftime('%H:%M'))
		print " Logging to "+filename

	    except RuntimeError:
		print " Already logging to "+ip.IP.logger.logfname

Contribute your own: If you have your own favorite tip on using IPython
efficiently for a certain task (especially things which can't be done in
the normal Python interpreter), don't hesitate to send it!

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