IDLEfork is an official experimental branch of Python's Integrated DeveLopment Environment, IDLE.
The biggest change in IDLEfork is to execute Python code in a separate process, which is /restarted/ for each Run (F5) initiated from an editor window. This enhancement of IDLE has often been requested, and is now finally available. The magic "reload/import *" incantations are no longer required when editing/testing a module two or three steps down the import chain.
The IDLE Debugger has been extended to support the new design, and its operation will be familiar to those who have used it previously. The breakpoint feature has been enhanced, and breakpoints are now persistent across IDLE sessions. When a module is open in an Edit window, its breakpoints are active.
There is also a new GUI configuration manager which makes it easy to select fonts, colors, keybindings, and startup options.
IDLEfork will be merged back into the Python distribution in the near future (probably at 2.3), replacing the current version of IDLE. For this reason we are interested in getting as much testing time as possible before the merge.
As David Scherer aptly put it in the original IDLEfork README, "It is alpha software and might be unstable. If it breaks, you get to keep both pieces."
If you find bugs let us know about them by using the IDLEfork Bug Tracker. See the IDLEfork home page at
for details. Patches are always appreciated at the IDLEfork Patch Tracker, and Change Requests at the RFE Tracker at
The distribution is available as a Windows Installer, as an RPM, and in source form as a .tar.gz.
Please read the release notes (which include installation instructions) at Sourceforge.
Thanks for trying IDLEfork.
IDLEfork 0.9 Alpha 1 --------------------------------
Introduced the new RPC implementation, which includes a debugger. The output of user code is to the shell, and the shell may be used to inspect the environment after the run has finished. (In version 0.8.1 the shell environment was separate from the environment of the user code.)
Introduced the configuration GUI and a new About dialog.
Adapted to the Mac platform.
Multiple bug fixes and usability enhancements.