[SciPy-dev] Re: ASP: Ipython in SciPy

Fernando Perez Fernando.Perez at colorado.edu
Wed Nov 3 11:24:55 CST 2004

Joe Harrington wrote:

> yum install scipy-all
> That's much harder to mess up.  The umbrella package scipy-all would
> install no files, or maybe a README, but would depend on scipy,
> ipython, matplotlib, scipy-doc, scipy-this, and scipy-that in the
> example above.  It would make sure those packages were there, but
> would be happy if they were already there.  It would not install
> anything twice.  So far nobody's argued against this idea.  Are there
> any points against it?

This is seems fine to me.  We can still indicate what scipy-all depends on, 
for non apt/rpm users (bsd, gentoo, ...).  But I think this is the least 
problematic solution which covers a large user base quite well.

> Regarding docs, Ipython is not just a 2-paragraph thing.  Being the
> outstanding doc writers that we are, we will offer examples on every
> topic.  The prompt in those examples will be an Ipython prompt.  We'll
> be telling users to use features of Ipython to debug and to get help,
> among other things.  Use of these will come up repeatedly.  So if
> Ipython isn't there, the prompts will look different, debugging will
> be spooky, and the help won't work.  That's a recipe for disaster in
> terms of user comfort and acceptance.  Certainly we need the 2
> paragraphs, and maybe another about what you can expect if you run
> *without* ipython.  But it doesn't stop there.  For example, we'll
> want a section or chapter on how to debug a program, for people who
> have never debugged before.

OK, I meant 2 paragraphs to mention ipython in the tutorial.  I see your point 
for the rest, but this brings a question to my mind: should this info (what 
could be considered 'development best practices with ipython') go into the 
scipy tutorial or into the ipython manual proper?  The ipython manual is 
already pretty long, since just documenting all of ipython's features and 
giving examples takes ~ 70 pages.  But if we want to write a section of the 
tutorial on development practices, perhaps this would be a good addition to 
the ipython manual itself, since it can benefit all users in general (beyond 
scipy).  Obviously mentions of ipython's features in scipy examples belong in 
the scipy tutorial.

I guess if a chapter on development and debugging gets written, it can always 
be copied to both documents so it benefits both scipy and the wider ipython 
user base.



More information about the Scipy-dev mailing list