[IPython-dev] cell magics

Jason Grout jason-sage at creativetrax.com
Sat Feb 16 02:35:09 EST 2013

On 2/16/13 12:47 AM, Fernando Perez wrote:
> In summary, while you're free to prefer the design in Sage, I very
> much disagree on all points and see very little chance that we'll
> change ours.  If anything, the exercise of writing this down has
> convinced me further that what we have is a solid piece of
> architecture we shouldn't mess with.

Thanks for the detailed email.  I figured that there was pretty close to 
zero chance IPython would change, if only from backwards compatibility. 
  However, you've gone way beyond just backwards compatibility and 
argued pretty effectively for the current syntax.  In fact, much of what 
you wrote I think would be great in an "overview of magics" document 
somewhere :).

I had been thinking of magics as literally "string decorators" (i.e., 
functions in the user namespace that take a string as their first 
argument).  I see you think of them and their uses very differently. 
I'm still forming my opinions (and brainstorming ideas), so I appreciate 
the thoughtful answer.


P.S. And for the record, though I come from the Sage community, I don't 
necessarily personally espouse the "import everything" philosophy; I 
think Sage probably went a little overboard there.  I suppose I'm 
somewhat halfway between the kitchen-sink and minimalistic "namespaces 
are a honking great idea" philosophies right now.  I realize you were 
just making general statements about communities and philosophies, of 

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