bpython - A fancy curses interface to the Python interactive interpreter
(apt-get install python-pygments)
A few people asked for stuff like syntax highlighting
and autocomplete for the Python interactive interpreter.
IPython seems to offer this (plus you can get readline
behaviour in the vanilla interpreter) but I tried
IPython a couple of times. Perhaps I didn't really get
it, but I get the feeling that the ideas behind IPython
are pretty different to bpython. I didn't want to create
a whole development environment; I simply wanted to
provide a couple of neat features that already exist
and turn them into something a little more interactive.
The idea is to provide the user with all the features
in-line, much like modern IDEs, but in a simple,
lightweight package that can be run in a terminal
window, so curses seemed like the best choice.
Sorry if you use Windows.
bpython doesn't attempt to create anything new or
groundbreaking, it simply brings together a few neat
ideas and focuses on practicality and usefulness.
For this reason, the "Rewind" function should be
taken with a pinch of salt, but personally I have
found it to be very useful. I use bpython now
whenever I would normally use the vanilla interpreter,
e.g. for testing out solutions to people's problems
on IRC, quickly testing a method of doing something
without creating a temporary file, etc..
I hope you find it useful and please feel free to
submit any bugs/patches (yeah right)/suggestions
or place them at the bitbucket issue page for this
For any other ways of communicating with bpython
users and devs you can find us at the communication
page on the projects homepage:
Hope to see you there!
* In-line syntax highlighting.
This uses Pygments for lexing the code as you type,
and colours appropriately. Pygments does a great job
of doing all of the tricky stuff and really leaving
me with very little to do except format the tokens
in all my favourite colours.
* Readline-like autocomplete with suggestions displayed
as you type.
Thanks to Python's readline interface to libreadline
and a ready-made class for using a Python interpreter's
scope as the dataset, the only work here was displaying
the readline matches as you type in a separate curses
window below/above the cursor.
* Expected parameter list.
As in a lot of modern IDEs, bpython will attempt to
display a list of parameters for any function you
call. The inspect module is tried first, which works
with any Python function, and then pydoc if that fails,
which seems to be pretty adequate, but obviously
in some cases it's simply not possible. I used pyparsing
to cure my nested parentheses woes; again, it was
nice and easy.
I didn't call this "Undo" because I thought that would
be misleading, but "Rewind" is probably as bad. The
idea is that the code entered is kept in memory and
when the Rewind function is called, the last line is
popped and the entire code is re-evaluated. As you can
imagine, this has a lot of potential problems, but for
defining classes and functions, I've found it to be
nothing but useful.
* Pastebin code/write to file.
I don't really use the save thing much, but the pastebin
thing's great. Hit a key and what you see on the screen
will be sent to a pastebin and a URL is returned for you
to do what you like with. I've hardcoded paste.pocoo.org
in for now, that needs to be fixed so it's configurable.
Next release, I promise.
* Flush curses screen to stdout.
A featurette, perhaps, but I thought it was worth noting.
I can't personally recall a curses app that does this,
perhaps it's often not useful, but when you quit bpython,
the screen data will be flushed to stdout, so it basically
looks the same as if you had quit the vanilla interpreter.
See the sample-config file for a list of available options.
You should save your config file as ~/.bpython/config or specify
at the command line:
bpython -c /path/to/bpython/config
For known bugs please see bpython's issue tracker at