IPython - Interactive Computing

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IPython provides a rich toolkit to help you make the most of using Python interactively. It provides a Jupyter kernel to work with Python code in Jupyter notebooks and other interactive frontends.

IPython’s interactive shell (ipython), has the following goals, amongst others:

  1. Provide an interactive shell superior to Python’s default. IPython has many features for tab-completion, object introspection, system shell access, command history retrieval across sessions, and its own special command system for adding functionality when working interactively. It tries to be a very efficient environment both for Python code development and for exploration of problems using Python objects (in situations like data analysis).
  2. Serve as an embeddable, ready to use interpreter for your own programs. An interactive IPython shell can be started with a single call from inside another program, providing access to the current namespace. This can be very useful both for debugging purposes and for situations where a blend of batch-processing and interactive exploration are needed.
  3. Offer a flexible framework which can be used as the base environment for working with other systems, with Python as the underlying bridge language. Specifically scientific environments like Mathematica, IDL and Matlab inspired its design, but similar ideas can be useful in many fields.
  4. Allow interactive testing of threaded graphical toolkits. IPython has support for interactive, non-blocking control of GTK, Qt, WX, GLUT, and OS X applications via special threading flags. The normal Python shell can only do this for Tkinter applications.




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