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IPython, an enhanced Python shell console


IPython is a powerful interactive shell with extra functionality for Python, such as line and errors highlights with colours, an extra sintax for the shell, autocomplete variables, modules or attributes using tha tab.

I think the IPython definition is clear about the enhanced Python shell, whose objective is to create a good environment for the data analst. Yes, data analyst have made IPython very popular by using notebooks for maintaining, sharing, and replicating long data science workflows. The original author is Fernando Pérez @fperez_org.

As I already wrote, IPython is part of the Anaconda distribution, and I also wrote a entrance about how to version 2 by using conda.

actualiza ipython


But, not only it’s a console. You can use IPython as a desktop app or on your browser.

IPython notebook

Since 2011, IPython has suffered a great evolution with IPython Notebooks. It’s a small webserver that allow to program IPython on your favorite browser. This way of using IPython is great for interactive analysis, easy to reproduce and share for research and teaching. It is based on .ipynb files, that are JSON files.

The increase of popularity of IPython Notebooks is not exclusive for Python, because this technology can by used even mixed with other languages such us Julia, Haskell, F#, Ruby, Go, and Scala.

The way to access to the IPython Notebook on your browser is by writting this sentence on a MS-DOS console:

ipython notebook

Running Ipython Notebook

Running Ipython Notebook

And you’ll et this on your browser:

Ipython Notebook

Ipython Notebook

Now, you can create Notebooks, and use magic words when programming on Python. You can navigate on your computer to the path you need to work with or open notebooks stored on the cloud.

NOTE: It seems that some antivirus produce not to show the IPython results. If this is your caso, launch Ipython with this sentence: ipython notebook –ip=localhost

IPython desktop

If you prefer desktop software, IPython has also a Qt based environment to program, where you can include images, edit videos, sintax highlight, plot graphs, ….  Just write on a MS-DOS console:

ipython qtconsole –pylab=inline

IPython QtConsole

IPython QtConsole


And here you have the IPython:


IPython QtConsole

IPython QtConsole

This environment includes menus with access to kernel, magic words, …. and more

IPython, more than a shell

As you can verify, IPython is not limited to a console, and you can choose which is the best way to used for your work!

Now, it’s your turn!

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