When I run ipython with the -pylab option, several variables seem to be brought into the top-level namespace, e.g. "beta" refers to . Also, typing the "who" command yields the following: ("?who" brings up a docstring from /usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/numpy/lib/utils.py). I'm guessing there are others as well. These problems only occur with -pylab.
I'm running Ubuntu 10.04 (64 bit), with ipython 0.10, matplotlib 0.99, etc. all installed from the Ubuntu 10.04 repositories. I'm not sure if this a problem with the Ubuntu packages or if others can reproduce these behaviors.
This is by design, so that the -pylab flag provides all the numpy/plotting functionality interactively in a manner similar to matlab's shell.
You can disable the importing by setting
in your config file.