[IPython-dev] Moving forward with the frontends

Gael Varoquaux gael.varoquaux at normalesup.org
Mon Jun 23 14:16:32 EDT 2008

Hi all,

This is just a heads up to say that I have been allowed to devote some of
my day work's time to working on a frontend for iPython. We want to
integrate IPython in Mayavi and other similar projects. The requirements

 * We want something fast, not after three months of work

 * We do not want it multithreaded. The reason being that this shell will
   be used to manipulate existing Wx objects. As Wx is not multithreaded,
   we cannot execute the code the user enters in a separate thread. As we
   want to manipulate objects displayed by the GUI, we cannot run in a
   seperate process. In the long run we can think of a "%bg" like magic
   to execute in a seperate thread, but on the short term I will make my
   life easier and run everything in one thread.

  * We are interested in wx. I am of course happy sharing the code with
    other frontends, but I will not be developping them.

  * The feature of ipython we are interested in are magics, "?" and "??",
    tab completion, history, and alike...

I am currently reviewing the existing code. I see three code bases for
front end:

    * Laurent Dufrechou's WxIpython, living in the trunk, in

    * Barry Wark's cocoa frontend, living in a separate branch;

    * The code Fernando, Eric Jones and myself started a year ago, living
    * in the old ipython1 branch (in ipython1/frontend).

>From a first quick review, they all have there stength and their
weakness. I am probably going to take from all three. I have not decided
where my effort will live.

I will keep on review the code, and exploring better the ipython
codebase. I am interested in any pointers you have, or advice on how to
move forward. I will keep the list posted as things move along.



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