[SciPy-dev] Using IPython

eric eric at scipy.org
Mon Feb 18 01:46:35 CST 2002

> I have worked on the documentation over the weekend and have seen,
> that there is a little namespace polution if one does `from scipy
> import *' which is probably the first step in an interactive
> session.  Mainly the module names handy, basic, basic1a, misc are
> present together with the functions from these modules. Than there are
> some things defined again with a shortcut. Do you think this should be
> cleaned up?

I'd like to say yes -- and it should be possible.  However, there are
implications for the testing framework.  In the past when we deleted misc in
__init__.py after all its stuff was imported, the testing frame work failed to
find the test suites for misc -- and died a premature death.  This probably can
be addressed, but not sure how at the moment.

> At the moment there are 300 definitions in scipy.

There does need to be some more thought put into what is put in the top level.
I think it is necessarily a large number of functions, but we could certainly
trim some fat if it is found.

I've often wished that there was a "magic variable" in modules that one could
define to omit names from the name-completion tools in GUI's.  If you "from
Numeric import *" in a stats module, it be nice to say, yeah I want them in the
namespace, but don't try to auto-complete any names from Numeric when someone
types stats.xxx.

> Then a last one, to make the who command really useful, it needs to
> supress names from later imported modules. There is also a who command
> in ipython.
> Oh and the really last one :-) which help system you want to use in
> the future?

pydoc is fine I think, but it does have a few problems.  It doesn't work well
with PythonWin.  Also, it is to verbose for me when printing out help for a
module.  I don't want to see a gazillion lines of text describing every function
and class.  Instead, I'd like to see the module doc-string and perhaps a list of
available functions.  Again, Octave and Matlab strike a decent balance here.
I started on something like this, but it is far from ready to go.  Maybe pydoc
with a few modifications to turn down verbosity would be better than rolling
another completely different solution.

One other thing.  The color choices for pydoc generated HTML pages could use
some, uh, modifications... :  )

> I think I will have a first set of documents ready at the beginning of
> the next week. (HTML, PDF, PS, a good addition would be a special html
> for the help widgets of wxpython)

Good news!

Thanks Janko.


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