[IPython-dev] [IPython-user] IPython development news and prospects

Hans Meine hans_meine at gmx.net
Wed Jan 16 12:16:02 EST 2008

Am Mittwoch, 16. Januar 2008 00:33:22 schrieb Laurent Dufréchou:
> Many people seems to be interested in GUI frontend for ipython, don't you
> think it could be interesting to create a process whis a ipython instance
> inside (the same as the wxIpython thread class in fact) and The GUI
> wx,QT,everything else discuss with it via a network protocol like xml-rpc.

This is what we (mainly Ullrich Köthe) has done for our VIGRA library python 
bindings (alas, not officially released yet).  There's a "pyterm" terminal 
that works this way.

The major feature is that the shell's GUI is always responsive, even with 
python code running.

Major obstacles AFAICS were Ctrl-C support (1), pluggable menu items (2), and 
completion, but all of them could be solved.

1: See the "interrupt" module I once posted to this list.  OTOH, Fernando 
(IIRC) lately introduced an ingenious solution in IPython that made this work 
(at least with threads, which is even more difficult AFAICS) with pure Python 

2: For instance, if you type "import vigra" in pyterm, you'll get image 
analysis-submenus that open dialogs for composing python commands.  If you 
fill in variable names and parameters and press "OK", appropriate code is 
pasted into the terminal.  Similarly, I have implemented a menu that 
automatically contains all parameter-free functions from a specific file for 
quick execution (for a teaching project).

All features require communication between the frontend and backend.  I have 
also thought about porting our home-brewn communication code to xml-rpc, but 
have not much experience with the latter (only from the python 
challenge ;-) ).

Ciao, /  /
    /  / ANS

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