interpreter improvements

Guido van Rossum guido at
Thu Jul 26 17:58:00 EDT 2001

Skip Montanaro <skip at> writes:

> As others (including Guido) have observed, having a line editing subsystem
> that knows about the structure of the language you are using can be a boon.
> With readline support I can recall individual lines I've typed at the
> interpreter, however readline knows nothing about Python's block structure,
> so I can't recall entire blocks that correspond to (for instance) "if",
> "for", or "while" statements.

Creating an editing subsystem is a lot of work.  I created one that
knows the structure of the language, and it is distributed for free
with Python.  The only downside is that it uses a GUI, so it's not for
everyone.  Its name?  IDLE.

BTW, IDLE's rules are almost the same as those used by Emacs
python-mode.el.  Emacs *does* run in a classic TTY window.

--Guido van Rossum (home page:

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