[Idle-dev] hi, newbie questions
taleinat at gmail.com
Thu Feb 8 15:48:13 CET 2007
On 2/4/07, phil jones <interstar at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> I just joined the list and wanted to say hello.
> My name's phil jones and I've been writing in Python for about 3 years
> and am still looking for the right editor / development environment
> for me to work with Python. I use IDLE about half the time I write
> Python. There are things I like about it and things that drive me
> crazy. Sometimes I dream about writing an IDE of my own or
> contributing to, or adapting an existing one. So I figured I should
> join the list.
I have several questions :
> 1) the first is obviously, what's going on with IDLE? Couldn't find
> much documentation or discussion about it on the web (in terms of
> documentation or tutorials for people coding it), nor does it seem to
> have changed much over the last couple of releases of Python. How is
> it considered? An acceptable editor to get started, but serious Python
> programmers graduate to a "real IDE" (if so, which one?). The main
> *free* Python development environment? Or something which people here
> are planning to grow much further? How many people are actively
> involved in IDLE development at the moment?
I think the general perception of IDLE is pretty much your first guess - a
simple IDE, easy to learn so good for starters, serious coder later embrace
more complex/comprehensive/feature-rich IDEs.
I wouldn't say it's the main free Python IDE, with SPE, PyDev and others to
I also wouldn't say that it's something which is planned to grow much
further, unfortunately. I think there's still a lot to do, since IDLE is not
as good starting point for beginners as it could be - too many ugly bumps,
an incomplete debugging module, and missing basic features neing the
In my opinion, which I have been trying to "push" for the past two years,
IDLE is an awesome Python shell, which comes with a nice, simple editor,
which integrates well with the shell. It's definitely great for learning and
teaching Python, but IMO it's good for much more than that.
2) The main thing that drives me crazy with IDLE and makes it pretty
> much unusuable for me is this. I like to develop with two files open,
> one with the code I'm working on and a second with unit tests.
> Obviously the unit-test file is the one I want to run and I import the
> other file into it. It seems like IDLE only does this import once, so
> that if I run the unit test, find a bug, fix the bug in the other file
> and re-run the unit tests (by hitting F5), IDLE doesn't notice that
> the code changed. So I then have to execute my program from the
> windows command line instead of hitting F5.
> Is this really how IDLE behaves? Or am I just doing something wrong /
> stpid and there's a way to get the behavior I want in IDLE?
You're not doing much wrong - this is one of the "ugly bumps" I mentioned
earlier. You're running IDLE without a subprocess - if you would run IDLE
with a subprocess, this issue would be resolved. (it would work since the
shell would be restarted each time you hit F5)
If you run IDLE from the Start Menu on Windows, or run it without the -n
flag on Unix/Linux/..., IDLE will run with a subprocess. On the other hand,
when you use "Edit with IDLE" from the Windows Explorer context menu, or run
IDLE with the -n flag, IDLE runs without a subprocess, and so the shell
cannot be restarted.
I have a patch which will finally resolve this issue posted on SourceForge,
but it's not getting enough attention... I'm hoping to get it into
3) One of the things I like about IDLE is that it's in Tk and standard
> in the Python distro, so you can be sure it's there. I've been
> developing a program with an editor-like GUI and I decided to use Tk /
> Tix rather than something based on another GUI layer, because of this.
> I thought I might be able to re-use bits of IDLE for it, and even
> contribute some stuff back to IDLE. However, when I upgraded to Python
> 2.5 my code just stopped working - with an error message saying that
> Python can't find and include Tix. Anyone know what's up with that? I
> thought Tix was part of standard Python? Did it break? Did IDLE also
> have problems with the upgrade to 2.5?
IDLE had no problems with the upgrade to 2.5. Perhaps this is because IDLE
uses only Tkinter, no Tix.
Sorry, I don't know much about Tix...
4) I'm guess I'm also looking for people here who know what's going on
> in with Tk, Tix and Tkinter. Tk is pretty basic, is it still being
> developed? Is there any work going on on Tix or any Python GUI
> frameworks which sit on top of Tk?
Hasn't been under serious development for years, but maybe there's some hope
left for it yet...
Check out Tcl/Tk's website: http://www.tcl.tk/
Also check out the Tile project, which aims to allow Tk GUI to look like
most common GUI frameworks (Windows classic and WinXP to name a few)
Obviously there's GTk and wxPython and the OS native libraries which
> seem to be prefered by most Python projects. But I'm really interested
> in the "batteries-included" story for Python.
> phil jones
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