[SciPy-user] Has IPython been useful to you? Please let me know...

Bastian Weber bastian.weber@gmx-topmail...
Mon Mar 16 14:24:05 CDT 2009

Hi Fernando,

I'm a graduate student and I am currently writing my "Diplomarbeit",
which is the German equivalent to a master thesis, in the field of
control engineering.

I have to state that even doing the humble things I do, would be far
more time consuming, less fun, or even frustrating and sometimes almost
impossible without a tool like IPython.

I use IPython mainly in three different ways:

*First I use "ipython -p sh" as substitute for the bash. The reason is
that I do not need to do bash-scripting very often and hence I am likely
to forget everything from one occasion to the next. Having the
possibility to do filesystem related python scripting (which is much
better to memorize to me) ad hoc on the one hand and having available
all the interactive features of bash, that I need, on the other hand, is
really great.

*Second: I use IPython to play around with unknown (parts of) modules.
The ease of accessing the docstrings and even the sourcecode of objects
or simply the easy way to determine the length of an array, the type of
an object increases both my productivity and my creativity. The most
valuable feature in this context however is the autocompletion of all
names in a namespace. I could not imagine a better way to explore a new
module than to have a tour through it and using IPythons capabilities to
 approach exactly that piece of the module, in wich I am interested.

*Third: I usually import IPython into all the scripts I write. This
makes me able to open an embedded IPython shell anywhere in my code.
This in fact is my preferred way to find (the reasons for) bugs or to
make some consistency test. A very nice side effect of importing IPython
is, the improvement of error output. It helps me a lot to have syntax
highlighted tracebacks and to see the argument values which led to an

I could have made this text ten times as long and I would still be able
to add reasons why IPython helps me and saves me time and why it is an
integral part of my python experience.

So thank you for being the driving force behind that golden piece of


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