linux python ideas

Fernando Pérez fperez528 at
Wed Sep 18 16:59:57 EDT 2002

Rob Andrews wrote:

> I'll be giving a presentation on Python to my local LUG
> ( in a few weeks, and would like to point out at least
> a few things that would be of particular interest to linux users.
> The idea is not "how to program in Python", which would take more than
> one quick presentation, but a one-off demonstration of ways in which
> Python is particularly useful for such a group.
> Any suggestions would be appreciated, since my notes are pretty generic
> so far.

<blatant plug>
Check out ipython at

It's not linux-specific, but its best features only work in a linux/unix 
environment, and it will appeal very much to command-line junkies. Take a 
look at the screenshots to get a feel for its features and feel free to drop 
me a line if you have a question.

It allows you to use the python shell almost as a system shell, not so much to 
replace the regular shell for day to day stuff, but rather to have the power 
of file and directory management when you need to do things with python. For 
me it's very useful in processing scientific data, since I have both access 
to Python/Numeric/Gnuplot and at the same time have essentially a system 

The introspection features (name? and <tab>) also make it very useful for 
regular programming tasks.
</blatant plug>

Well, check for yourself. In general, python+Numeric+Gnuplot/Grace makes a 
pretty strong stand against the $$$ likes of Matlab. And in many cases beats 
them (in others we're still behind, but catching up quickly).



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