line editing

Why doesn't ActivePython use GNU readline?

Question: 

Why doesn't ActivePython use GNU readline? Why doesn't my up-arrow key recall past commands?

Answer: 

If you've used a Python.org build of Python before starting to use ActivePython, you may have grown fond of the command history and editing provided by the use of libreadline. Where Python.org Python gives you the last line you entered when you hit up-arrow, ActivePython gives you ^[[A.

ActivePython includes a package manager called PyPM using which you may install readline to make the arrow keys work:

$ pypm install readline

We do not include readline by default in the ActivePython distribution due to licensing restrictions.