[IPython-dev] Some minor issues with iPython 0.11 on Python 2.6.4

Pim Schellart p.schellart at gmail.com
Mon Jan 4 04:41:57 EST 2010

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to mention some minor problems with IPython 0.11 running 
on Python 2.6.4.
The first (and most important) issue is a bug (reported as bug 488061 on 
If you use list=!command you get deprecation warnings because the popen 
command is deprecated in favor of the subprocess module.
I have submitted a patch for this bug but until now of now it is unassigned.

The other issues are minor.
I would like tab autocomplete to behave the same way as the shell (e.g. 
bash). The current behavior lists all files as options when I hit tab to 
complete the name of the parent directory.
The current default of asking the user to list or not when to many files 
are present violates the principle of minimal input that all unix 
programs share (e.g. rm is default instead of rm -i) which slows down a 
typical workflow.
Also the distinction between two different types of behavior depending 
on the number of files in a directory is confusing.
Furthermore when there are not so many files present and the completion 
shows the list immedately it scrolls (the output of) your previous 
commands off the screen (which means you often have to scroll back to 
see their results).
I usually tend to have thousands of data files in my work directories 
and so I have to type 'n' whenever I change directories which is quite 
annoying :).
So in conclusion I would like tab to not complete past a '/' and only 
list all possible completions with a second hit of the tab key.

The final issue is that the current IPython puts an empty line before 
each prompt.
While this might improve readability in some cases more often it is a 
waste of screen space.
In particular when using clear the first line of the terminal is blank.
I would prefer again to stick to the default of most shells and remove 
the empty line.

Please take these remarks as mere suggestions.
In general I like IPython a lot and I hope to see it evolve into an ever 
more useful tool.

Kind regards,

Pim Schellart

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