drop down feature

Greg Brunet gregbrunet at NOSPAMsempersoft.com
Wed Aug 13 01:28:36 CEST 2003

Hi Michael:

"Michael Peuser" <mpeuser at web.de> wrote in message
news:bhbp0k$epd$07$1 at news.t-online.com...
> IDLE can help with its Class Browser feature. Although this not
> it will help a lot
> when using site-packages or even your own old code ;-)

IDLE and many other GUI's do provide that & it is a definite help.  Any
class library, whether Python's or some other language, simply has to be
learned.  Hopefully, the designers were consistent and 'standard' in
their name choices to make things easier, and certainly once you begin
using a tool frequently it becomes easier.  Even as good as a class
browser is, I've found that the Intellisense stuff is perhaps an order
of magnitude more helpful to me than the browser.  Without having to
manually jump to another window/pane & lookup the class I'm interested
in, I have all of the properties & methods available as I finish typing
the variable, AND a link to the full help on the item by pressing F1 as
soon as I've selected it.

> For the beginner, of course even properties (attributes and methods)
> standard types are not
> obvious. I must say, that Python can really be a little bit cryptical
> (consider *get* oder *has_key* for
> directories ). I generally have to look it up, when *haskey* or *has*
> not work ;-)
> But you can very well organize yourself with man pages....
> The main problem seems to be that Python has no static typing. So it
> *generally* is not possible
> for an editor to know what type will dynamically be used.

And this is where, as disparagingly as people talk of VB, it does a good
job.  Because it highly encourages (though can disable) static typing &
checking, it is able to know what the properties, methods, etc. are for
a variable.  In reading a description of the WingIDE for Python, their
standard package tries to accomplish this by: "Infers class structure
and variable types based on real time analysis of Python source code."
I understand that Python for now & likely evermore will be dynamically
typed - hopefully the editors can get smarter about performing this
analysis to support the intellisense type operation.

> Problems increase especially with GUIs - I would be lost even in
> without a paper reference  ;-)

Also agreed.  And one other thing that I've never seen matched (even the
1.0 version of .NET wasn't as good) is the dynamic debugger in VB6.
When I've tried to debug code in IDLE or PythonWin or Boa, I frequently
end up at layers deeper in the class hierarchy than I wish to go (I
usually want to break at my code, but end up in some of the debugger
support code & have to navigate my way up/over to do anything).  Also
the VB debugger would provide mouse-over information of any variables
(their value, etc.) displayed in the editor at the time the breakpoint
fires, along with an unbelievable ability to edit and continue running
the program.  If someone could come up with an editor for Python with
the capabilities of the VB6 IDE, I'd certainly pay for that one.  For
now, it seems that Boa is the closest thing to the mark in the open
source field.  I've not evaluated the commercial editors sufficiently,
but from what I've read, there isn't anything out there yet that meets
that criteria.

> Kindly
> Michael Peuser

Take care,


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