The 3D picture of Python

Brian Quinlan brian at
Sat Feb 8 10:25:49 CET 2003

> "Integrates well" would mean fully integrated with my Visual Studio
> browser

No. But I don't know of any Python developers that use a class browser
anyway. But, if you really want one, VisualPython has one for VS7.

> , build

What build? There are no explicit build steps required for Python code.

> , debugger, 

How would you expect this to work, even in theory? Sometimes you could
want to step through the Python C code and sometimes you would want to
step through Python code. Breaking in at a line in Python code is going
to be useless for debugging your C code.

> and source control environment. 

VS will let you put any random file in a project and manage it in source

> No "external tools shuffle."  

When I develop mixed Python/C code, I usually have the PythonWin IDE up
(substitute your Python IDE of choice), one VS instance for every dozen
or so projects (I don't like workspaces containing more than a dozen
projects and VS only lets you have one workspace open at a time) and a
few consoles windows open for doing source control, running test
scripts, etc.

> No hunting and pecking with different build procedures,
> having to drop to Makefiles and command line tools to get things done.

Python code has no build requirements. When Python is asked to import a
module, it checks to see if object code is available and up to date. If
no current object code is available then it compiles your code from

> No time spent on mechanics of browsing, building, and debugging, all 
> time spent on coding.

Some people seem to like Python debuggers but I can't say that I've ever
really used one. I used to work on the Komodo IDE at ActiveState and I
still never used a Python debugger.

I take advantage of the fact that Python generates very rich tracebacks
for unhandled exceptions i.e. the source line of every function on the
call stack and the state of that function's local variables. I also take
advantage of Python's strong print statement.

> At a glance, that sounds like only a commercial solution will do.

Depends, I guess. People pay me money to integrate Python and C code and
the only commercial development products that I use are VS and Perforce.


More information about the Python-list mailing list