What’s new

Release 0.10

This release brings months of slow but steady development, and will be the last before a major restructuring and cleanup of IPython’s internals that is already under way. For this reason, we hope that 0.10 will be a stable and robust release so that while users adapt to some of the API changes that will come with the refactoring that will become IPython 0.11, they can safely use 0.10 in all existing projects with minimal changes (if any).

IPython 0.10 is now a medium-sized project, with roughly (as reported by David Wheeler’s sloccount utility) 40750 lines of Python code, and a diff between 0.9.1 and this release that contains almost 28000 lines of code and documentation. Our documentation, in PDF format, is a 495-page long PDF document (also available in HTML format, both generated from the same sources).

Many users and developers contributed code, features, bug reports and ideas to this release. Please do not hesitate in contacting us if we’ve failed to acknowledge your contribution here. In particular, for this release we have contribution from the following people, a mix of new and regular names (in alphabetical order by first name):

  • Alexander Clausen: fix #341726.
  • Brian Granger: lots of work everywhere (features, bug fixes, etc).
  • Daniel Ashbrook: bug report on MemoryError during compilation, now fixed.
  • Darren Dale: improvements to documentation build system, feedback, design ideas.
  • Fernando Perez: various places.
  • Gaël Varoquaux: core code, ipythonx GUI, design discussions, etc. Lots...
  • John Hunter: suggestions, bug fixes, feedback.
  • Jorgen Stenarson: work on many fronts, tests, fixes, win32 support, etc.
  • Laurent Dufréchou: many improvements to ipython-wx standalone app.
  • Lukasz Pankowski: prefilter, %edit, demo improvements.
  • Matt Foster: TextMate support in %edit.
  • Nathaniel Smith: fix #237073.
  • Pauli Virtanen: fixes and improvements to extensions, documentation.
  • Prabhu Ramachandran: improvements to %timeit.
  • Robert Kern: several extensions.
  • Sameer D’Costa: help on critical bug #269966.
  • Stephan Peijnik: feedback on Debian compliance and many man pages.
  • Steven Bethard: we are now shipping his argparse module.
  • Tom Fetherston: many improvements to IPython.demo module.
  • Ville Vainio: lots of work everywhere (features, bug fixes, etc).
  • Vishal Vasta: ssh support in ipcluster.
  • Walter Doerwald: work on the IPython.ipipe system.

Below we give an overview of new features, bug fixes and backwards-incompatible changes. For a detailed account of every change made, feel free to view the project log with bzr log.

New features

  • New %paste magic automatically extracts current contents of clipboard and pastes it directly, while correctly handling code that is indented or prepended with >>> or ... python prompt markers. A very useful new feature contributed by Robert Kern.

  • IPython ‘demos’, created with the IPython.demo module, can now be created from files on disk or strings in memory. Other fixes and improvements to the demo system, by Tom Fetherston.

  • Added find_cmd() function to IPython.platutils module, to find commands in a cross-platform manner.

  • Many improvements and fixes to Gaël Varoquaux’s ipythonx, a WX-based lightweight IPython instance that can be easily embedded in other WX applications. These improvements have made it possible to now have an embedded IPython in Mayavi and other tools.

  • MultiengineClient objects now have a benchmark() method.

  • The manual now includes a full set of auto-generated API documents from the code sources, using Sphinx and some of our own support code. We are now using the Numpy Documentation Standard for all docstrings, and we have tried to update as many existing ones as possible to this format.

  • The new IPython.Extensions.ipy_pretty extension by Robert Kern provides configurable pretty-printing.

  • Many improvements to the ipython-wx standalone WX-based IPython application by Laurent Dufréchou. It can optionally run in a thread, and this can be toggled at runtime (allowing the loading of Matplotlib in a running session without ill effects).

  • IPython includes a copy of Steven Bethard’s argparse in the IPython.external package, so we can use it internally and it is also available to any IPython user. By installing it in this manner, we ensure zero conflicts with any system-wide installation you may already have while minimizing external dependencies for new users. In IPython 0.10, We ship argparse version 1.0.

  • An improved and much more robust test suite, that runs groups of tests in separate subprocesses using either Nose or Twisted’s trial runner to ensure proper management of Twisted-using code. The test suite degrades gracefully if optional dependencies are not available, so that the iptest command can be run with only Nose installed and nothing else. We also have more and cleaner test decorators to better select tests depending on runtime conditions, do setup/teardown, etc.

  • The new ipcluster now has a fully working ssh mode that should work on Linux, Unix and OS X. Thanks to Vishal Vatsa for implementing this!

  • The wonderful TextMate editor can now be used with %edit on OS X. Thanks to Matt Foster for this patch.

  • The documentation regarding parallel uses of IPython, including MPI and PBS, has been significantly updated and improved.

  • The developer guidelines in the documentation have been updated to explain our workflow using bzr and Launchpad.

  • Fully refactored ipcluster command line program for starting IPython clusters. This new version is a complete rewrite and 1) is fully cross platform (we now use Twisted’s process management), 2) has much improved performance, 3) uses subcommands for different types of clusters, 4) uses argparse for parsing command line options, 5) has better support for starting clusters using mpirun, 6) has experimental support for starting engines using PBS. It can also reuse FURL files, by appropriately passing options to its subcommands. However, this new version of ipcluster should be considered a technology preview. We plan on changing the API in significant ways before it is final.

  • Full description of the security model added to the docs.

  • cd completer: show bookmarks if no other completions are available.

  • sh profile: easy way to give ‘title’ to prompt: assign to variable ‘_prompt_title’. It looks like this:

    [~]|1> _prompt_title = 'sudo!'
  • %edit: If you do ‘%edit pasted_block’, pasted_block variable gets updated with new data (so repeated editing makes sense)

Bug fixes

  • Fix #368719, removed top-level debian/ directory to make the job of Debian packagers easier.
  • Fix #291143 by including man pages contributed by Stephan Peijnik from the Debian project.
  • Fix #358202, effectively a race condition, by properly synchronizing file creation at cluster startup time.
  • %timeit now handles correctly functions that take a long time to execute even the first time, by not repeating them.
  • Fix #239054, releasing of references after exiting.
  • Fix #341726, thanks to Alexander Clausen.
  • Fix #269966. This long-standing and very difficult bug (which is actually a problem in Python itself) meant long-running sessions would inevitably grow in memory size, often with catastrophic consequences if users had large objects in their scripts. Now, using %run repeatedly should not cause any memory leaks. Special thanks to John Hunter and Sameer D’Costa for their help with this bug.
  • Fix #295371, bug in %history.
  • Improved support for py2exe.
  • Fix #270856: IPython hangs with PyGTK
  • Fix #270998: A magic with no docstring breaks the ‘%magic magic’
  • fix #271684: -c startup commands screw up raw vs. native history
  • Numerous bugs on Windows with the new ipcluster have been fixed.
  • The ipengine and ipcontroller scripts now handle missing furl files more gracefully by giving better error messages.
  • %rehashx: Aliases no longer contain dots. python3.0 binary will create alias python30. Fixes: #259716 “commands with dots in them don’t work”
  • %cpaste: %cpaste -r repeats the last pasted block. The block is assigned to pasted_block even if code raises exception.
  • Bug #274067 ‘The code in get_home_dir is broken for py2exe’ was fixed.
  • Many other small bug fixes not listed here by number (see the bzr log for more info).

Backwards incompatible changes

  • ipykit and related files were unmaintained and have been removed.

  • The IPython.genutils.doctest_reload() does not actually call reload(doctest) anymore, as this was causing many problems with the test suite. It still resets doctest.master to None.

  • While we have not deliberately broken Python 2.4 compatibility, only minor testing was done with Python 2.4, while 2.5 and 2.6 were fully tested. But if you encounter problems with 2.4, please do report them as bugs.

  • The ipcluster now requires a mode argument; for example to start a cluster on the local machine with 4 engines, you must now type:

    $ ipcluster local -n 4
  • The controller now has a -r flag that needs to be used if you want to reuse existing furl files. Otherwise they are deleted (the default).

  • Remove ipy_leo.py. You can use easy_install ipython-extension to get it. (done to decouple it from ipython release cycle)

Release 0.9.1

This release was quickly made to restore compatibility with Python 2.4, which version 0.9 accidentally broke. No new features were introduced, other than some additional testing support for internal use.

Release 0.9

New features

  • All furl files and security certificates are now put in a read-only directory named ~./ipython/security.
  • A single function get_ipython_dir(), in IPython.genutils that determines the user’s IPython directory in a robust manner.
  • Laurent’s WX application has been given a top-level script called ipython-wx, and it has received numerous fixes. We expect this code to be architecturally better integrated with Gael’s WX ‘ipython widget’ over the next few releases.
  • The Editor synchronization work by Vivian De Smedt has been merged in. This code adds a number of new editor hooks to synchronize with editors under Windows.
  • A new, still experimental but highly functional, WX shell by Gael Varoquaux. This work was sponsored by Enthought, and while it’s still very new, it is based on a more cleanly organized arhictecture of the various IPython components. We will continue to develop this over the next few releases as a model for GUI components that use IPython.
  • Another GUI frontend, Cocoa based (Cocoa is the OSX native GUI framework), authored by Barry Wark. Currently the WX and the Cocoa ones have slightly different internal organizations, but the whole team is working on finding what the right abstraction points are for a unified codebase.
  • As part of the frontend work, Barry Wark also implemented an experimental event notification system that various ipython components can use. In the next release the implications and use patterns of this system regarding the various GUI options will be worked out.
  • IPython finally has a full test system, that can test docstrings with IPython-specific functionality. There are still a few pieces missing for it to be widely accessible to all users (so they can run the test suite at any time and report problems), but it now works for the developers. We are working hard on continuing to improve it, as this was probably IPython’s major Achilles heel (the lack of proper test coverage made it effectively impossible to do large-scale refactoring). The full test suite can now be run using the iptest command line program.
  • The notion of a task has been completely reworked. An ITask interface has been created. This interface defines the methods that tasks need to implement. These methods are now responsible for things like submitting tasks and processing results. There are two basic task types: IPython.kernel.task.StringTask (this is the old Task object, but renamed) and the new IPython.kernel.task.MapTask, which is based on a function.
  • A new interface, IPython.kernel.mapper.IMapper has been defined to standardize the idea of a map method. This interface has a single map method that has the same syntax as the built-in map. We have also defined a mapper factory interface that creates objects that implement IPython.kernel.mapper.IMapper for different controllers. Both the multiengine and task controller now have mapping capabilties.
  • The parallel function capabilities have been reworks. The major changes are that i) there is now an @parallel magic that creates parallel functions, ii) the syntax for mulitple variable follows that of map, iii) both the multiengine and task controller now have a parallel function implementation.
  • All of the parallel computing capabilities from ipython1-dev have been merged into IPython proper. This resulted in the following new subpackages: IPython.kernel, IPython.kernel.core, IPython.config, IPython.tools and IPython.testing.
  • As part of merging in the ipython1-dev stuff, the setup.py script and friends have been completely refactored. Now we are checking for dependencies using the approach that matplotlib uses.
  • The documentation has been completely reorganized to accept the documentation from ipython1-dev.
  • We have switched to using Foolscap for all of our network protocols in IPython.kernel. This gives us secure connections that are both encrypted and authenticated.
  • We have a brand new COPYING.txt files that describes the IPython license and copyright. The biggest change is that we are putting “The IPython Development Team” as the copyright holder. We give more details about exactly what this means in this file. All developer should read this and use the new banner in all IPython source code files.
  • sh profile: ./foo runs foo as system command, no need to do !./foo anymore
  • String lists now support sort(field, nums = True) method (to easily sort system command output). Try it with a = !ls -l ; a.sort(1, nums=1).
  • ‘%cpaste foo’ now assigns the pasted block as string list, instead of string
  • The ipcluster script now run by default with no security. This is done because the main usage of the script is for starting things on localhost. Eventually when ipcluster is able to start things on other hosts, we will put security back.
  • ‘cd –foo’ searches directory history for string foo, and jumps to that dir. Last part of dir name is checked first. If no matches for that are found, look at the whole path.

Bug fixes

  • The Windows installer has been fixed. Now all IPython scripts have .bat versions created. Also, the Start Menu shortcuts have been updated.
  • The colors escapes in the multiengine client are now turned off on win32 as they don’t print correctly.
  • The IPython.kernel.scripts.ipengine script was exec’ing mpi_import_statement incorrectly, which was leading the engine to crash when mpi was enabled.
  • A few subpackages had missing __init__.py files.
  • The documentation is only created if Sphinx is found. Previously, the setup.py script would fail if it was missing.
  • Greedy cd completion has been disabled again (it was enabled in 0.8.4) as it caused problems on certain platforms.

Backwards incompatible changes

  • The clusterfile options of the ipcluster command has been removed as it was not working and it will be replaced soon by something much more robust.
  • The IPython.kernel configuration now properly find the user’s IPython directory.
  • In ipapi, the make_user_ns() function has been replaced with make_user_namespaces(), to support dict subclasses in namespace creation.
  • IPython.kernel.client.Task has been renamed IPython.kernel.client.StringTask to make way for new task types.
  • The keyword argument style has been renamed dist in scatter, gather and map.
  • Renamed the values that the rename dist keyword argument can have from ‘basic’ to ‘b’.
  • IPython has a larger set of dependencies if you want all of its capabilities. See the setup.py script for details.
  • The constructors for IPython.kernel.client.MultiEngineClient and IPython.kernel.client.TaskClient no longer take the (ip,port) tuple. Instead they take the filename of a file that contains the FURL for that client. If the FURL file is in your IPYTHONDIR, it will be found automatically and the constructor can be left empty.
  • The asynchronous clients in IPython.kernel.asyncclient are now created using the factory functions get_multiengine_client() and get_task_client(). These return a Deferred to the actual client.
  • The command line options to ipcontroller and ipengine have changed to reflect the new Foolscap network protocol and the FURL files. Please see the help for these scripts for details.
  • The configuration files for the kernel have changed because of the Foolscap stuff. If you were using custom config files before, you should delete them and regenerate new ones.

Changes merged in from IPython1

New features

  • Much improved setup.py and setupegg.py scripts. Because Twisted and zope.interface are now easy installable, we can declare them as dependencies in our setupegg.py script.
  • IPython is now compatible with Twisted 2.5.0 and 8.x.
  • Added a new example of how to use ipython1.kernel.asynclient.
  • Initial draft of a process daemon in ipython1.daemon. This has not been merged into IPython and is still in ipython1-dev.
  • The TaskController now has methods for getting the queue status.
  • The TaskResult objects not have information about how long the task took to run.
  • We are attaching additional attributes to exceptions (_ipython_*) that we use to carry additional info around.
  • New top-level module asyncclient that has asynchronous versions (that return deferreds) of the client classes. This is designed to users who want to run their own Twisted reactor.
  • All the clients in client are now based on Twisted. This is done by running the Twisted reactor in a separate thread and using the blockingCallFromThread() function that is in recent versions of Twisted.
  • Functions can now be pushed/pulled to/from engines using MultiEngineClient.push_function() and MultiEngineClient.pull_function().
  • Gather/scatter are now implemented in the client to reduce the work load of the controller and improve performance.
  • Complete rewrite of the IPython docuementation. All of the documentation from the IPython website has been moved into docs/source as restructured text documents. PDF and HTML documentation are being generated using Sphinx.
  • New developer oriented documentation: development guidelines and roadmap.
  • Traditional ChangeLog has been changed to a more useful changes.txt file that is organized by release and is meant to provide something more relevant for users.

Bug fixes

  • Created a proper MANIFEST.in file to create source distributions.
  • Fixed a bug in the MultiEngine interface. Previously, multi-engine actions were being collected with a DeferredList with fireononeerrback=1. This meant that methods were returning before all engines had given their results. This was causing extremely odd bugs in certain cases. To fix this problem, we have 1) set fireononeerrback=0 to make sure all results (or exceptions) are in before returning and 2) introduced a CompositeError exception that wraps all of the engine exceptions. This is a huge change as it means that users will have to catch CompositeError rather than the actual exception.

Backwards incompatible changes

  • All names have been renamed to conform to the lowercase_with_underscore convention. This will require users to change references to all names like queueStatus to queue_status.
  • Previously, methods like MultiEngineClient.push() and MultiEngineClient.push() used *args and **kwargs. This was becoming a problem as we weren’t able to introduce new keyword arguments into the API. Now these methods simple take a dict or sequence. This has also allowed us to get rid of the *All methods like pushAll() and pullAll(). These things are now handled with the targets keyword argument that defaults to 'all'.
  • The MultiEngineClient.magicTargets has been renamed to MultiEngineClient.targets.
  • All methods in the MultiEngine interface now accept the optional keyword argument block.
  • Renamed RemoteController to MultiEngineClient and TaskController to TaskClient.
  • Renamed the top-level module from api to client.
  • Most methods in the multiengine interface now raise a CompositeError exception that wraps the user’s exceptions, rather than just raising the raw user’s exception.
  • Changed the setupNS and resultNames in the Task class to push and pull.

Release 0.8.4

This was a quick release to fix an unfortunate bug that slipped into the 0.8.3 release. The --twisted option was disabled, as it turned out to be broken across several platforms.

Release 0.8.3

  • pydb is now disabled by default (due to %run -d problems). You can enable it by passing -pydb command line argument to IPython. Note that setting it in config file won’t work.

Release 0.8.2

  • %pushd/%popd behave differently; now “pushd /foo” pushes CURRENT directory and jumps to /foo. The current behaviour is closer to the documented behaviour, and should not trip anyone.

Older releases

Changes in earlier releases of IPython are described in the older file ChangeLog. Please refer to this document for details.