The Python REPL is great! You can try out code before putting it in your program and get information about types and objects:
A while ago some people created an even better REPL - you probably haven’t heard of it:1
Then a fellow named Bob created bpython. It does some cool things. I wrote bpython-curtsies, an alternative frontend to bpython, that’s going to be what you get when you type bpython in the next release (0.14, coming in the next few weeks hopefully). You can install stable bpython now with
pip install 'bpython[curtsies]'
but to use bpython curtsies you need to type “bpython-curtsies” instead of “bpython” at the prompt until we release bpython again in a few weeks.
(being able find the source code of a c function in the first place is due to the efforts of Puneeth Chaganti, not bpython: cinspect lets you view c python source, and comes with a convenient ipython monkey-patch)
bpython makes editing your current session easy: ctrl-r undoes the last line, and F7 sends the whole session to an editor.
You can reload (a pretty safe reload, actually importing all the modules you imported again, using a new interpreter object) with F6, and turn on automatic reloading with F5:2
So try out bpython! (some features here are only in master - either download the latest bpython or wait a few weeks to be able to use it)
I think IPython is terrific, and this was a laugh line - most Python developers have heard of it because IPython because it’s a super awesome, successful, popular library. ↩︎
I made an offhand remark here about IPython-style reloading not being safe - this wasn’t really fair, and I didn’t back it up at all. What I meant was that
%run, one way to reload modules in IPython, loads the modules globals into the local namespace, which is a little scary: if you’ve deleted globals in the module, you’ll have the old ones still around. There are also problems with a normal
reload(module)command: objects you’ve already imported with
from module import thingsyntax won’t be reloaded, and recursive reloads are an issue: reloading a module doesn’t reload the modules it imported (IPython has something for this). Edit: It turns out autoreloading in IPython is pretty awesome, and fixes many cases of the
from module import funcor
from module import classproblems - thought constants like
from module import MAX_LENGTHstill present a problem. ↩︎