I’ve just finished watching the Pycon-2012 talk “IPython: Python at your fingertips”, and am really impressed by the new notebook feature, new in version 0.12.

I’ve used IPython over python’s standard console since I first learned about it, and think it’s the best REPL around for any language. So I didn’t think I’d learn too much from this talk, but it turns out IPython is even cooler than I thought!

I’m not sure how much I’d use it during development (although it has some neat advantages over the IPython console), but I can see this making for some killer interactive documentation - publish the pre-processed results on the web, with a “play with this example” button allowing the user to grab the script, interactively modify any part of the code they want and see the new results.

It could also be really useful for manual / visual inspection of test scenarios that are too hard, expensive or brittle to completely automate.

Update: OK, I’ve finally got it running1. I take it back, this is awesome for interactive development as well.

  1. I had to make and compile 0install feeds for tornado and ipython since ubuntu’s version was too old, if you want to run it yourself without having to do this you should be able to run 0launch --command=notebook2 http://gfxmonk.net/dist/0install/ipython.xml