some pointers for a newbie

Abe Mathews 59bassman at
Sun Dec 5 16:29:01 CET 2004

On Sun, 05 Dec 2004 02:26:48 +0000, Jon Mercer <jon.mercer at> wrote:
> On the matter of IDEs, I've found that Eclipse (
> is amazing, although I suspect that it takes a bit of learning to get
> used to it and I'm nowhere near making full use of all it can do. It has
> a really useful plugin in the shape of PyDev. I strongly recommend
> having a play, although at 2am on a Sunday morning it may be peripheral
> to what you are trying to achieve!

I'd second the suggestion to look into Eclipse if you are interested
in an IDE.  I'm just starting to work in OS X (G5 now, possibly a
Powerbook in the future) coming from a Linux background.  What I like
about Eclipse is that it is cross-platform, and it also supports the
other languages I've worked with in the past (Java, C/C++).  PyDev
seems to work pretty well.  And I've seen lots of other folks
developing plug-ins for Eclipse that lead me to believe that this is
an IDE worth learning, even if you're going to do most of your work on
the command line.

I have installed XCode based on what I saw at the Apple booth at the
SC2004 - I really like the tools that Apple has developed.  However,
I've yet to really play with it and see what can be done.  I haven't
been able to find much about using XCode for Python, so I'm assuming
that there isn't much in the way of support.  (I take that back, I
just went to and discovered that XCode will
interpret Python files and does provide syntax hilighting.  Learn
something new every day...)

I have done most of my Python programming in Linux using the command
line, IDLE, and Emacs.  This isn't supported very well out of the box
by OS X, as I prefer the "prettier" GUI Emacs implementations over the
straight Terminal if I can get it.  There are a couple of Carbon
implementations out there for Emacs, and one of them includes the
python Emacs module for syntax highlighting and auto-indentation.  I
don't remember off the top of my head which one it is.  If you're
interested, I can check on Monday when I get back to work and let you

One of the Carbon implementations of Emacs plus macPython gets me
pretty much where I was comfortable in Linux, so I'm happy there.

The tools are available for OS X - it may take a bit of digging, but
I'm coming to the conclusion that OS X is the OS I've been looking for
for a while.  Good luck with your searching.

Abe Mathews

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