how do "real" python programmers work?

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at
Thu Jan 12 19:13:08 EST 2006

bblais wrote:
> In Python, there seems to be a couple ways of doing things.   I could
> write it in one window, and from a Unix shell call
>                            python
> and be like C++, but then I lose the interactiveness which makes
> prototyping easier.  If I use the python shell, I can use import (and
> reload), or execfile perhaps.

For programs, I usually have two shells: one interactive shell where
I test fragments (usually to find out how some library call needs to
be spelled); and another shell to run the program in.

For libraries, I typically reload the library module in a single
interactive shell.

I often want to do sequences of actions. I first type them one
by one, e.g.

py> import httplib
py> httplib=httplib.HTTP("localhost")
py> import httplib
py> h=httplib.HTTP("localhost")
py> h.connect()

Then, I get tired of fetching all the lines from the history
again and again, and rephrase it (through cut-n-paste) as

py> import httplib;h=httplib.HTTP("localhost");h.connect()

Then I only need to fetch a single line from the history
to redo all the initialization.

I set-up readline so the history survives the end of
the interpreter. I quit the interpreter, restart it,
and immediately have the last command I typed available, see
my attached .pythonrc.


# -*- python -*-
#from __future__ import division
import os, sys
sys.ps1 = 'py> '
histfile = os.path.join(os.environ["HOME"], ".pyhist")
    import readline, rlcompleter
    if os.path.exists(histfile):
    readline.parse_and_bind("tab: complete")

    import atexit
    atexit.register(readline.write_history_file, histfile)

    del readline, rlcompleter, atexit

except ImportError:

del os,histfile

except NameError:
        from pydoc import help
    except ImportError:

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