Why bother?

What’s the point of using IPython if it’s not going to be using the Jupyter notebook?

Excellent question. While the Jupyter notebook is a wonderful tool, sometimes it can be overkill. At times, all I want is to quickly pop into a shell, grab an object, and do a little manipulation or testing.

What’s wrong with just using python to open a shell?

Another wonderful question. You’re really good at this. The answer is that there is nothing wrong with using the standard Python shell, but the reason to give IPython a try is that you get a lot of things for free. Among some of these features are:

  • Persistent input history
  • Tab completion
  • Extensible system of “magic” commands
  • A rich configuration system
  • Syntax highlighting as you type
  • Integration with a command line editor

…and much, much more.