[ANN] Python Tools for Visual Studio 1.1 Alpha

Dino Viehland dinov at microsoft.com
Thu Nov 3 00:09:17 CET 2011

We're pleased to announce the release of Python Tools for Visual Studio 1.1 Alpha [http://pytools.codeplex.com/releases/view/69667]. Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) is an open-source plug-in for Visual Studio which supports programming with the Python programming language. This release includes new core IDE features, a couple of new sample libraries for interacting with Kinect and Excel, and many bug fixes for issues reported since the release of 1.0.

For the core IDE features we've added many new features which improve the basic editing experience. This includes a feature for automatically adding imports after typing an identifier, a command for cleaning up unused imports, support for recognizing isinstance() calls and using them for providing improved completions, and using goto definition to go to members defined in the standard library. We've also made improvements to the project system so it'll behave more like the C# including proper support of linked files outside of the project directory. And we've made some improvements to our IPython REPL support including support for inline graphs and proper support for IPython's numbered prompts. Finally we've made several small improvements to the debugger including the option to step into the Python standard library while debugging, the option to not break on SystemExit exception with exit codes of zero as well as displaying the Python thread name in the threads window. Altogether this release includes over 100 features and bug fixes - a complete list of the changes is available here<http://bit.ly/PyTools11Fixed>

Another major addition to this release includes the addition of two additional sample libraries available as separate downloads: PyKinect for working with the Kinect Beta SDK and Pyvot for working with Excel spreadsheets. Once downloaded and installed, these plug-in to Visual Studio and provide project templates; they also provide built-in support for installing into one of the recognized Python interpreters via Tools->Python Tools->Samples.

The PyKinect sample is a wrapper around the Kinect SDK and enables development with the Kinect SDK directly from Python. The library presents an API which is similar to the API exposed via the Kinect SDK for C# developers. The sample includes a new template for quickly getting started creating games using PyGame with PyKinect. PyKinect is licensed under a license similar to the existing Kinect SDK. PyKinect only requires a Python implementation with ctypes - currently only Python 2.7 is supported.

Pyvot (pronounced Pivot) connects familiar data-exploration and visualization tools in Excel with the powerful data analysis and transformation capabilities of Python, with an emphasis on tabular data. It provides a minimal and Pythonic interface to Excel, smoothing over the pain points in using the existing Excel object model as exposed via COM. Pyvot is licensed under the same Apache license that the rest of PTVS is distributed under. Pyvot requires pywin32 and currently runs on Python 2.6 or Python 2.7.

We'd like to thank all of the users who took the time to report issues and feedback for this release: 445363200, AphexSA, benpmorgan, chadbr, dgkbny, drgn, holmboe, lblanchon, mahpour, pztrick44, salerio, slideomix, somini, stakemura, sumitbasu, swift_dev, teebot, timeisaparallax, tonyandrewmeyer, xaviergrundus, and Zooba.

The Python Tools for Visual Studio Team

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