Adventures in Machine Learning

Boost Your Python Productivity with bpython

Installing and running bpython

Python developers are always on the lookout for ways to improve their productivity. One tool that might be of interest is bpython, a Python REPL (Read-Evaluate-Print Loop) that provides a number of features to make coding easier and more efficient.

To get started, you first need to install bpython using pip, Python’s package manager. Assuming you have Python and pip installed on your system, you can install bpython using the following command:


pip install bpython


Once you have bpython installed, you can run it from the command line by typing `bpython`. By default, bpython will use the Python environment that you’re currently in, but you can also use it within a virtual environment if you prefer.

Purpose and Features of bpython

The primary purpose of bpython is to provide developers with a more productive and enjoyable Python coding experience. Some of the key features of bpython that help achieve this goal are:

– Syntax highlighting: bpython uses the Pygments library to highlight different parts of your code in different colors.

This makes it much easier to see the structure of your code at a glance and can help you spot syntax errors more quickly. – Syntax error detection: When you type code into bpython, it will immediately detect if there are any syntax errors.

This means you don’t have to wait until you run the code to find out if there’s a problem. – Auto-completion: As you type, bpython will suggest completions for the code you’re entering.

This can save you a lot of time and reduce the likelihood of errors. – Contextual history: bpython keeps track of the context you’re in as you type, so you can easily go back and see what you’ve done.

This is particularly useful when you’re working with complex code.

Spot Typos at a Glance

Syntax Highlighting

One of the most useful features of bpython is its syntax highlighting. This feature uses the Pygments library to highlight different parts of your code in different colors.

This can make it much easier to spot typos or errors in your code. For example, if you forget to close a parenthesis at the end of a function call, bpython will highlight the unmatched parenthesis in red.

This makes it very obvious where the error is and what you need to do to fix it.

Bracket Matching

Another helpful feature of bpython is bracket matching. When you type an opening parenthesis, bracket, or brace, bpython will automatically highlight the corresponding closing character.

This can help you avoid errors related to mismatched brackets. For example, if you’re typing a function call and forget to include the closing parenthesis, bpython will highlight the opening parenthesis in green and the closing parenthesis in red.

This lets you know that you’re missing something and helps you avoid syntax errors.


In this article, we’ve explored the basics of installing and running bpython as well as its key features. We also discussed how syntax highlighting and bracket matching can help Python developers spot typos and avoid syntax errors.

By using these tools, developers can be more productive and efficient in their coding work.

Type More Quickly and Accurately

One of the biggest challenges of programming is typing quickly and accurately. Spending too much time typing can slow down your coding process and create more opportunities for typos and errors.

Fortunately, bpython provides a number of features that can help reduce the amount of typing you need to do and catch errors before they become a problem.

Code Suggestions

One of the first features you’ll likely notice when you start using bpython is code suggestions. As you start typing code, bpython will suggest possible completions for the code you’re entering.

This can save you a lot of typing time and reduce the likelihood of errors. For example, if you’re trying to call a function, bpython will suggest the available functions as you start typing their names.

As you get closer to the correct function name, bpython will narrow the suggestions down until you can select the correct one.


In addition to code suggestions, bpython also provides auto-completion functionality. Once you’ve selected a suggestion you like, you can press the tab key to have bpython automatically complete the rest of the statement for you.

This can save you a lot of time and also help reduce errors related to typos or forgotten syntax.


Another helpful feature of bpython is its auto-indentation. When you start a new code block, bpython will automatically indent the cursor to the appropriate level.

This can help make your code more readable and also help avoid syntax errors related to incorrect indentation.

Contextual History

Finally, bpython provides a useful feature called contextual history. This feature keeps track of the commands you’ve entered into bpython and lets you easily navigate and filter them.

For example, you can use a keystroke to go back and re-run a previous command, or you can filter your command history to only show commands related to a particular function.

Avoid Context Switching

Another way bpython can help improve your productivity is by reducing the amount of context switching you need to do as you work.

Runtime Type Introspection

One feature that can help with this is bpython’s runtime type introspection. With type introspection, you can quickly see the type of a variable or object by typing its name followed by a period, then pressing the tab key.

This will show you a list of possible members and functions associated with that type.

Function Signatures and Docstrings

Another helpful feature of bpython is its ability to display function signatures and docstrings. If you’re not sure how to use a particular function, you can type its name followed by a question mark and press enter.

This will display a brief description of the function’s usage, as well as its signature and docstring.

Source Code Preview

Finally, bpython also provides a source code preview feature. If you’re working with imported modules or functions, you can view their source code directly in bpython.

This can help you quickly understand how a particular function works and avoid the need to switch back and forth between your text editor and bpython. Overall, by reducing the need for context switching and providing helpful runtime tools like type introspection, function signatures, and source code previews, bpython can help make your coding workflow more efficient and less error-prone.

Fix Mistakes More Quickly

While all programmers strive for code perfection, mistakes are inevitable. However, with bpython, you can fix those mistakes more quickly and more efficiently.

Here are some ways bpython can help when mistakes are made:

Rewind One or More Lines

If you’ve typed a line of code that contains an error or you simply want to revisit, you can use bpython’s line movement commands to quickly move up or down lines of code. Type `Ctrl-p` to quickly pop to the previous line of code, or `Ctrl-n` to pop to the next.

You can also use the up and down arrow keys to move between lines.

Edit Code in an External Editor

Sometimes, the code you want to write is much faster to type in an external editor. In those times, you can use bpython’s `open_editor` command to quickly launch an external editor.

From within the editor, you can write your code, save it, and then close the editor. The code will then be transferred back into bpython.

Reload Imported Modules

If you’ve been working on a module in your Python REPL and you’ve made changes to it, reloading the module can be annoying. However, bpython’s `auto_reload` setting makes reloads automatic.

With this feature, you can just hit the execute button on your new code and watch as the module automatically reloads.

Share Your REPL Session

Often, you want to share your code and session with others. bpython makes it easy to do so.

Here are some ways to share your REPL session:

Copy to Clipboard

To copy your session into your system clipboard, use the `Ctrl+a` and `Ctrl+c` keyboard shortcuts. This will select all of the text output in bpython and copy it to your clipboard.

You can then paste it into an email or text file.

Save to File

To save your session output to a file, use the `Ctrl+a` and `Ctrl+s` keyboard shortcuts. This will prompt you to save your session output as a file on your computer.

You can then share the file with others.

Send to Pastebin

Often, you may want to share your session output with others online. bpython makes this easy by allowing you to send your session output directly to a site like Pastebin.

To do so, use the `Ctrl+a` and `Ctrl+p` keyboard shortcuts. This will upload your output to Pastebin and provide you with a URL that you can share with others.

Overall, bpython provides a number of helpful features that can help you code more efficiently. Whether you need to fix mistakes quickly, use an external editor, or share your code with others, bpython has you covered.

Configure bpython

One of the great things about bpython is its customizability. Here are some ways you can configure bpython to suit your needs:

General Settings

bpython has a number of general settings that you can adjust to customize your experience. For example, you can change the font type and size, configure the behavior of arrow keys, and adjust syntax highlighting colors.

You can modify these settings in a number of ways – through the bpython configuration file, the command line, or in the bpython interface itself.

Keyboard Shortcuts

If you frequently use particular commands or shortcuts, you can create your own keyboard shortcuts in bpython. To do this, you’ll need to modify the bpython configuration file.

Color Themes

bpython uses the Pygments library to provide syntax highlighting. You can customize the colors used by Pygments to create your own custom color schemes.

Simply modify the `.style` file that you want to use as a template.

Debug With bpython

Debugging is an important part of the development process, and bpython provides several tools to aid the process.

Embed the REPL in a Script

You can embed bpython’s REPL in your scripts with the `-i` flag to enable interactive debugging. This allows you to insert bpython’s REPL into a running script and interact with it in real time.

Add a Breakpoint Using bpdb

In addition to standard debugging techniques, bpython provides its own built-in debugger called bpdb. bpdb is similar to pdb (the standard Python debugger), but it offers some additional features.

To use it, you add a `from BPDB import set_trace` statement at the point where you want to insert a breakpoint. When your code reaches the breakpoint, it will drop into the bpdb REPL, from which you can inspect variables and execute code.

Discover bpythons Quirks

Although bpython offers a number of advantages over the standard Python REPL, it still has some quirks that you should be aware of. One of the most commonly encountered quirks is related to the use of `repr()` to display some types.

Because of this, some data structures may not display as expected. Overall, bpython is a highly customizable and useful tool for Python development.

By configuring bpython to suit your preferences and using its debugging tools, you can make your development process more efficient and less error-prone.

Contribute to bpython

bpython is an open-source project that welcomes contributions from the community. Contributing to bpython is a great way to give back to the Python community and improve the tool for everyone to use.

Here are some ways you can get involved:

Reporting Bugs

If you encounter a bug while using bpython, you can report it on the bpython GitHub issue tracker. The issue tracker is a valuable tool for bpython developers, as it allows them to keep track of bugs and potential improvements.

Submitting Code

If you’d like to contribute code to bpython, you can do so through the bpython GitHub repository. Before submitting your code, you should make sure that it meets the project’s coding standards and has been thoroughly tested.

Improving Documentation

Another way to contribute to bpython is by improving the project’s documentation. Like any open-source project, documentation is crucial to bpython’s success.

Contributing documentation updates and improvements is a valuable way to contribute to bpython even if you’re not comfortable contributing code. Overall, there are many ways to contribute to bpython and help improve the experience for everyone who uses it.


bpython is an incredibly powerful tool for Python developers, offering a suite of features that make coding faster, more efficient, and less error-prone. With its built-in code suggestions, auto-completion, contextual history, and more, bpython has everything you need to streamline your development process and write better code.

If you’ve never used bpython before, we encourage you to give it a try and see how it can boost your productivity. If you’re already a fan of bpython, we hope this article has inspired you to explore some of its more advanced features and get more involved in the open-source community of bpython developers.

With this powerful tool at your fingertips and a vibrant community of developers behind it, the possibilities for what you can achieve with Python are truly endless. In conclusion, bpython is a highly useful and customizable Python REPL that can help developers improve their productivity and efficiency in the coding process.

Its features – including syntax highlighting, auto-completion, contextual history, and integration with external editors – make coding easier and less error-prone. With bpython, developers can also debug code, customize settings to their liking, and even contribute to open-source projects.

Overall, bpython is an essential tool for any Python developer looking to streamline their coding process and write better code.

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