[BangPypers] BangPypers Digest, Vol 8, Issue 15

Anand Balachandran Pillai abpillai at gmail.com
Tue May 6 08:12:01 CEST 2008

I am old school when it comes to program editors. I keep away from
IDEs as much as possible, unless there is not getting away from it.
The only thing which a good IDE gives according to me is visual
debugging. Everything else can be done by smart customization of
swiss-army-knives of editors such as Emacs/Vim. Hell, I even do
Java coding in Emacs + command-line ;)

In my 9+ years of working in software, I have tried many editors from
the stupid, simple to the complex and it has always been square one
back to Emacs. I guess once you get used to the freedom and power
Emacs + Lisp gives you, nothing feels comparable, taunts from vim
users not withstanding.

Still, some editors have impressed me - Kate (KDE Advanced Text Editor)
is one which I use occasionally. For Python, I sometimes use SPE
(Stani's Python Editor) especially for writing OO code, since it has a nice
built-in UML generation tab, which is quite useful for refactoring old code.
I wonder why nobody here has mentioned this good editor. It is strictly
for Python though.

However, I remain loyal to the Church of Emacs, since 1999 !


On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 11:18 AM, Siddharta <siddharta.lists at gmail.com> wrote:
> The problem I have with stand alone editors is that they are okay for
> writing code, but absolutely lousy for reading and cleaning code. Most of
> the time I'm dealing with multiple files, and when reading code I want to be
> able to jump to the implementation of a method, then go back to where I was
> and so on. Then you want to rename a method or move code into a separate
> module and fix all the references. These kinds of things are major headaches
> in a standalone editor and tags/grep etc dont cut it. In any long term
> project, 75% of the work is in maintenance, reading and cleaning code.
> Unfortunately, most editors are optimised for *writing* code which is the
> least of my problems with Python's minimal syntax. I prefer an IDE optimized
> for reading, navigating and cleaning code and Wing does a pretty good job
> here, not as good as some other language IDEs but the best I've seen for
> Python.
>  The second thing I like about Wing is that it has an interactive python
> shell which executes in context. Which means I can select a piece of code
> and run just that snippet in the shell and see the output. Also, I can put a
> breakpoint and then execute code in the shell with the execution context at
> the time of the breakpoint. Both are really useful, and again not provided
> in a stand alone editor. Plus a very nice debugger where you can see the
> call stack, breakpoints, watches, single step which are taken for granted in
> any language IDE but seem to be missing or poorly implemented in most Python
> IDEs.
>  --
>  Siddharta Govindaraj
>  Pradeep Gowda wrote:
> >
> > On 06-May-08, at 12:51 AM, Kenneth Gonsalves wrote:
> >
> >
> > > textmate for mac and SPE or eric4 for linux
> > >
> > >
> >
> > Lets me also point out that whatever you choose, dont *ever* use Notepad.
> > Notepad is the most useless piece of software that ships with windows.
> >
> > I use Textmate and aquamacs (both on mac of course) and vim occasionally.
> >
> > For a windows new user, I recomment SciTE (which is also available via
> pywin IDE).
> >  I recommend it to every new student of mine and so far, I've heard no
> complaints. Some of them have switched to vim/emacs etc.,. But to start with
> SciTe is the easiest.
> > Its super-light weight, supports lots of languages, is cross platform.
> > An editor like SciTE which "understands" python, makes the "space is
> signiicant" mental block a little easy for the newbie.
> > Also, SciTE has an easy shortcut "F5" to execute code, the result of which
> can be seen in split window. This also makes it attractive for "write-test"
> interactive mode.
> >
> > On the side notes: I wrote an app using Google AppEngine and Python :
> http://www.btbytes.com/2008/05/announcing-teh-the-minimalist-blog-tool-using-google-app-engine
> >
> > +Pradeep
> >
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