[IPython-dev] ipython in a background thread

Brian Granger ellisonbg at gmail.com
Mon May 2 23:11:46 EDT 2011

I would check out the multiprocess Qt GUI that we have in master now.



On Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 10:03 AM, Zachary Pincus
<zachary.pincus at yale.edu> wrote:
> Hello all,
> I find that ipython, specifically ipython running in a good terminal (as opposed to embedded in a GUI window), provides a really great interface (e.g. in my case, a microscope and camera hardware). Given this use, it's been important to also have a GUI thread running so I can throw acquired images rapidly up onto a GL canvas or something. For a while, I've used a hacked-up pyglet runloop that would work in a background thread, and set up a simple message-passing system.
> This got quite kluged quite fast though, and it turns out this approach won't work at all with cocoa GUIs on OS X, which seem to require running on thread-0 (a pity). I know people on this list have looked and thought about these issues a lot, so I'd be curious what seems like the best approach in general? (There used to be some code in IPython for doing this with various window toolkits, but I don't see that in the 0.10.2's codebase anymore...)
> - I could run the GUI from thread-0 and try message-passing to IPython on another thread. Does this work well at all, or is it a huge kluge to get all the readline etc. features working right?
> - I could run the GUI in a separate process entirely, which would force a much cleaner API, but I'm not sure if pumping images at video-rate could be done cleanly. Maybe with shared memmapped arrays? (I've seen some recipes for this sort of thing on the numpy list lately.)
> - Any other possibilities or thoughts?
> Thanks a lot,
> Zach
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Brian E. Granger
Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo
bgranger at calpoly.edu and ellisonbg at gmail.com

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