IPython is known for the notebooks. But the first thing they list on their homepage is a “powerful interactive shell”. And that’s true - if you use Python interactively, you’ll dig IPython.
Here are a few features that make a difference for us:
command line history and autocomplete
These are basic shell features you come to expect and rely upon after a first contact with a Unix shell. The standard Python interpreter feels somewhat impoverished without them.
Normally when you paste indented code, it won’t work. You can fix it with this magic command.
Actually, you can skip the
shell commands with
!ls -las. Alas, aliases from your system shell don’t work.
Red and green add a nice touch, especially in a window with dark background.
If you have a light background, use
Share your favourite features in the comments. For more, see Using IPython for interactive work.