A survey of Python IDEs

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.net
Fri Aug 17 18:37:29 CEST 2001


web.mail at lycos.com (Alan Green) wrote in message news:<270c68fe.0108162046.15ee55ac at posting.google.com>...
> Despite these IDE's, it seems that most Python developers use a text
> editor to program Python. Here are three theories about this:
> 
> a. Python is the kind of language that doesn't need a lot of tool
> support.

[...]

> c. Python programmers are the kind of people that don't use IDEs.

I can't say that I've ever been completely immersed in an IDE and
enjoyed the experience, although there are certain things about
PythonWin (which I started to play with recently) which are quite
nice, such as attribute completion. One thing I don't like about
PythonWin is the "C64-like" editing mode - I much prefer the readline
interface, but there is a multi-line readline interface which could
appeal to me, I suppose. (There was also a weird bug which came up
every now and again while editing programs - if I were using it now I
would probably be able to report the details within a few minutes.)

Integrated debugging and GUI layout support may well be the main
benefits of IDEs, and you note that many of the available IDEs offer
only these things on top of program editing and an interactive session
window. For me, intensive debugging support with breakpoints and so on
are only really interesting when trying to track down bugs in
languages like C, when the program crashes spectacularly due to some
uninitialised pointer.

As for GUI builders, since I don't do "native" GUI design (preferring
Web application development instead) there isn't a big selling point
left to appeal to me amongst the different packages. Perhaps I
underestimate the utility of a comprehensive IDE, but since I'm
happier with the command line than the IDE implementation where things
like version control are concerned, current generation IDEs have some
way to go before I'll use one.

Paul



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