How do you develop in Python?

Just van Rossum just at
Sun Jun 10 05:04:57 EDT 2001

Nick Perkins wrote:

> I want an IDE to provide at least the following:
> 1. Each run takes place in a fresh, clean environment.
> 2. The IDE stays responsive while a program is run.
> 3. The IDE can kill a running program.

For me, 1. should be entirely optional: I usually *prefer* to keep working
in an existing environments, and only clean up (start over) when I've
messed things up beyond repair. As an example of this way of working: I've
developed the MacPython IDE largely in *itself*. It's a medium-sized app,
but restarting it for every minor change would've been a pain. Instead,
I work on it while it's running, updating modules and individual classes,
and seeing effect *immediately*. This is amazingly effective with Python,
due to its dynamic nature.

Yet there are cases where this is not possible or too hard: eg. developing
GUI apps that use a different GUI/mainloop than the IDE. A separate
interpeter is simply the best option. But as has been written before in
this thread: to conveniently do this one would like to have a good
communications channel between the IDE and the app in question: for
debugging, tracebacks, object browsers, etc. Such a thing is not all
that easy to create in a cross-platform manner, but I would agree that
this is where Python IDE's should be heading.


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