Development roadmap

IPython is an ambitious project that is still under heavy development. However, we want IPython to become useful to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. To help us accomplish this, we are laying out a roadmap of where we are headed and what needs to happen to get there. Hopefully, this will help the IPython developers figure out the best things to work on for each upcoming release.

Work targeted to particular releases

Release 0.10

  • Initial refactor of ipcluster.
  • Better TextMate integration.
  • Merge in the daemon branch.

Release 0.11

  • Refactor the configuration system and command line options for ipengine and ipcontroller. This will include the creation of cluster directories that encapsulate all the configuration files, log files and security related files for a particular cluster.
  • Refactor ipcluster to support the new configuration system.
  • Refactor the daemon stuff to support the new configuration system.
  • Merge back in the core of the notebook.

Release 0.12

  • Fully integrate process startup with the daemons for full process management.
  • Make the capabilites of ipcluster available from simple Python classes.

Major areas of work

Refactoring the main IPython core

Process management for IPython.kernel

Configuration system

Performance problems

Currently, we have a number of performance issues that are waiting to bite users:

  • The controller stores a large amount of state in Python dictionaries. Under heavy usage, these dicts with get very large, causing memory usage problems. We need to develop more scalable solutions to this problem, such as using a sqlite database to store this state. This will also help the controller to be more fault tolerant.
  • We currently don’t have a good way of handling large objects in the controller. The biggest problem is that because we don’t have any way of streaming objects, we get lots of temporary copies in the low-level buffers. We need to implement a better serialization approach and true streaming support.
  • The controller currently unpickles and repickles objects. We need to use the [push|pull]_serialized methods instead.
  • Currently the controller is a bottleneck. The best approach for this is to separate the controller itself into multiple processes, one for the core controller and one each for the controller interfaces.