should i switch to IPYTHON interpreter? What is the killer feature of it?

Christoph Becker-Freyseng webmaster at
Wed Dec 10 16:01:01 CET 2003

Irmen de Jong wrote:

> Dang Griffith wrote:
>>>> Tab completion for keywords and methods etc (you can get this in the
>>>> standard python shell as well of course)
>>> You can? How?
>>> --Irmen
>> Press tab after typing part of the keyword/method.
> Sean was talking about the 'standard python shell' so I tried
> the default python (2.3) on my mandrake 9.2 box.
> It doesn't work, it just inserts a tab character.
> --Irmen

You need an startup-file for python.

(I copied this together out of python-news-mail (thank you once again) 
and some own ideas)

.pystartup in your home-dir

# Add auto-completion and a stored history file of commands to your Python
# interactive interpreter. Requires Python 2.0+, readline. Autocomplete is
# bound to the Esc key by default (you can change it - see readline docs).
# Store the file in ~/.pystartup, and set an environment variable to point
# to it, e.g. "export PYTHONSTARTUP=/max/home/itamar/.pystartup" in bash.
# Note that PYTHONSTARTUP does *not* expand "~", so you have to put in the
# full path to your home directory.

import atexit
import os
import readline
import rlcompleter

historyPath = os.path.expanduser("~/.pyhistory")
historyTmp = os.path.expanduser("~/")

endMarkerStr= "# # # histDUMP # # #"

saveMacro= "import readline; 
readline.write_history_file('"+historyTmp+"'); print '####>>>>>>>>>>'; 
print ''.join(filter(lambda lineP: not 

readline.parse_and_bind('tab: complete')
readline.parse_and_bind('\C-w: "'+saveMacro+'"')

def save_history(historyPath=historyPath, endMarkerStr=endMarkerStr):
     import readline
     # Now filter out those line containing the saveMacro
     lines= filter(lambda lineP, endMarkerStr=endMarkerStr: not 
lineP.strip().endswith(endMarkerStr), open(historyPath).readlines())
     open(historyPath, 'w+').write(''.join(lines))

if os.path.exists(historyPath):


del os, atexit, readline, rlcompleter, save_history, historyPath, 
historyTmp, endMarkerStr, saveMacro

(I hope spaces will survive mailing)

Additionaly you need to
~# export PYTHONSTARTUP=/root/.pystartup

You can do this e.g. in .profile

Pressing tab completes the input like common unix-shells.
Pressing CTRL-w gives You an python code to print the history-file (or 
parts of it -- there's a [:] in the command that You can replace by 
[-50:]; which will give you the last 50 lines)

cu cbf

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