[ANN] IPython 0.6.11 is out.

Fernando Perez Fernando.Perez at colorado.edu
Tue Feb 15 09:46:39 CET 2005

Hi all,

I'm glad to announce the release of IPython 0.6.11.  IPython's homepage is at:


and downloads are at:


I've provided RPMs (for Python 2.3 and 2.4, built under Fedora Core 3), plus
source downloads (.tar.gz).  We now also have a native win32 installer which
should work correctly for both Python 2.3 and 2.4.

NOTE: Win32 users who grabbed the 0.6.11 which I put in testing last week
should still update, since today's release is actually quite different, and it
has a few win32-specific fixes (plus the big new backgrounding feature).

Debian, Fink and BSD packages for this version should be coming soon, as the
respective maintainers (many thanks to Jack Moffit, Andrea Riciputi and Dryice
Liu) have the time to follow their packaging procedures.

Many thanks to Enthought for their continued hosting support for IPython, and
to all the users who contributed ideas, fixes and reports.

WHAT is IPython?

1. An interactive shell superior to Python's default. IPython has many
features for object introspection, system shell access, and its own special
command system for adding functionality when working interactively.

2. An embeddable, ready to use interpreter for your own programs. IPython can
be started with a single call from inside another program, providing access to
the current namespace.

3. A flexible framework which can be used as the base environment for other
systems with Python as the underlying language.

Release notes

As always, the NEWS file can be found at http://ipython.scipy.org/NEWS, and
the full ChangeLog at http://ipython.scipy.org/ChangeLog.

* A new subsystem has been added to IPython for background execution (in a
separate thread) of commands and function calls.  This system is by no means
perfect, and some of its limitations are unavoidable due to the nature of
python threads.  But it can still be useful to put in the background
long-running commands and regain control of the prompt to continue doing other
things.  The new jobs builtin has extensive docstrings, and the new %bg magic
complements it.  Please type %bg? and jobs? for further details.

The user-level API of this system is brand new, so I am very open to
suggestions and comments.  While a threads-based model has limitations, this
is also a testbed for future integration into ipython of other models of
background execution, including parallel processing both on local
(multiprocessor/multicore) machines and on remote clusters.  So please
consider this an exploratory feature where we can test these ideas and better
understand what works and what doesn't.

This system was inspired by discussions with Brian Granger <bgranger at scu.edu>
and the BackgroundCommand class described in the book Python Scripting for
Computational Science, by H. P. Langtangen:


(although ultimately no code from this text was used, as IPython's system is a
separate implementation).

* Tab completion now shows all possible completions, both for python names and
files/directories.  This is different from the old behavior, but in practice
much more convenient (thanks to John Hunter for the request).

* The readline_omit__names rc option now allows you to fine-tune the behavior
of tab-completion.  You can filter out names starting with one underscore or
two separately.  If set to 1, you only filter double-underscore names (like
before), but if set to 2, you also filter out single-underscore names.  Thanks
to a patch by Brian Wong <BrianWong at AirgoNetworks.Com>.

* Improvements for win32 users continue.  The installer bug for 2.4 has been
fixed by the Python team, so the provided binary installer should now complete
without problems (let me know otherwise).  Just in case, a manual
post-installer for win32 still ships with the .tar.gz sources, though it
should never be needed.

Gary Bishop also squashed a number of readline bugs, so if you update to his
most recent release from


you should benefit from fully correct source highlighting under Win32.  Thanks
to Vivian De Smedt, autoindent now also works under win32.

As far as I know, at this point (for the first time ever, fingers crossed...),
all of ipython's features exist in a win32 environment.  Many thanks to all
the patient users who have helped with this task.

I would appreciate reports of any problems from Win32 users.

* Fix issue28 in the bug tracker by disabling the startup output traps.  This
subsystem, while nice when it works (it organizes startup error messages
neatly) can lead to mysterious, impossible to debug problems during

* Fix 'ed -p' not working when the previous call produced a syntax error.

* Fix crash when inspecting classes without constructor.

* Other small fixes and cleanups.

Enjoy, and as usual please report any problems.



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