A survey of Python IDEs - Summary (Long)

Alan Green web.mail at lycos.com
Mon Aug 27 11:58:18 CEST 2001


Thanks to everyone that has contributed via email and posting. Here is the
promised summary. 


Open Source IDEs

1. IDLE - comes with the standard Python distribution. (/Tools/idle in your
Python Distribution)

2. IDLEfork - "just like IDLE, only crunchy". An experimental fork of IDLE.
<http://idlefork.sourceforge.net/>

3. PythonWin - comes with ActiveState Python. Based on IDLE. Has a couple of
nice, extra features, but basically the same animal. Good choice for Windows
developers.  <http://aspn.activestate.com/ASPN/Downloads/ActivePython/>

4. BOA Constructor - has a wxPython GUI Builder. Aims "to be a simple Delphi
for wxPython." <http://boa-constructor.sourceforge.net/>


Commercial IDEs (Some with free evaluation or free limited use)

5. Komodo - ActiveState's cross-language IDE. Looks like it would be
really cool if you were working on a Perl/Python/XSLT/PHP system.
<http://www.activestate.com/Products/Productivity/ASPN_Komodo/>

6. PythonWorks Pro - from SecretLabs. Very cool looking IDE. Has a
layout editor for Tk. Might take a few days to get the hang of.
<http://www.secretlabs.com/products/works/index.htm>

7. BlackAdder - from TheKompany. Has all of the features of IDLE +
support for Ruby + GUI editor for Qt.
<http://www.thekompany.com/products/blackadder/> 

8. VisualPython - from ActiveState. A Python plug-in for Visual
Studio.NET Beta 2. A colleague of mine tried it and it works. 
<http://aspn.activestate.com/ASPN/Downloads/VisualPython/> 

9. Wing IDE - from Archaeopteryx. Very nice code browsing environment.
<http://archaeopteryx.com/wingide>


Not What I'd Call an IDE, But Worthy of Mention

10. PyCrust - "an interactive Python Shell written in Python using wxPython and
the Scintilla wrapper class." 
<http://sourceforge.net/projects/pycrust/>

11. Leo - A Literate Programming tool that does Python. I am tempted to try
this one day.
<http://personalpages.tds.net/~edream/front.html> 

12. SciTE - "A free source code editor for Win32 and X". Used in bunches of
IDEs.
<http://www.scintilla.org/SciTE.html>

13. Emacs. Is there anything Emacs can't do? I wouldn't be suprised to hear of
a Python GUI builder for wxWindows, Qt and Tk, all written in Emacs :)

14. wxDesigner - A wxWindows GUI builder that has Python bindings as well as
C++. I didn't get to have a good look at this - maybe it is more than a GUI
builder.
<http://www.roebling.de/>


More Resources

Boudewijn Rempt has an article about Python IDEs at InformIT
(<http://www.informit.com> Search for 'Boudewijn'. Free registration required.)
It was posted last November, and things seem to have moved on a bit since then.
Never-the-less, a good starting point if you want to know what to look for in
an IDE.  Boudewijn said he will be updating the article "shortly". There were 4
products reviewed last time, will there be 14 products reviewed this time?
<cheeky grin>

A review of Python IDEs from David Mertz (May 2001):
<http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-pide/>


And finally, it's worth saying that all of these IDEs are quite different, so
try at least three IDEs before you pick one.

Enjoy,

Alan.



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