Ranting about the state of Python IDEs for Windows

Ian J Cottee ian at cottee.org
Tue Sep 14 06:57:08 CEST 2004

Carlos Ribeiro wrote:
> Oh well. A mailing list is not the most appropriate place for rants (a
> blog is better), but it's still better than keeping it for myself.


I spent quite a bit of time evaluating Python IDE's a few months back 
and I agree with you. The only one I liked was WingIDE 2 but none of 
them were able to tempt me away from Emacs. In particular I am using the 
emacs code browser with  Python (http://ecb.sourceforge.net). I think it 
may well do what you want although it does take a little setting up and 
if you don't know Emacs you have that hill to climb.

I just did a screen shot from some python source code I am working on 
for a Plone project. (click on the image to fullsize it).


Note the left hand panels which are giving links to files in the current 
directory, recently opened files, directory paths and a class browser 
for the current source file. With my setup if (for example) I <Alt>-. on 
the word StringWidget in my Case.py source file I'll automatically open 
up the class definition in the window next to it.

Using emacs python mode I get syntax hilighting, easy methods of moving 
code around and the ability to set tracepoints using pdb and display the 
pdb buffer next to the source code you are debugging. As you work your 
way through the code, the source buffer will track what you are looking 
at simultaneously.

Another benefit is I can run the same IDE on both Windows, Linux and OS 
X and (importantly for me) can run the same environment over a ssh 
terminal if I am developing on a remote machine. The screenshot is from 
XP by the way. I also use the Emacs ELSE mode to make templating easier.

if you use xemacs you can have tabbing for the openfiles although I 
personally I don't like that setup.

Not saying this solution is for everyone and it isn't perfect but it's 
the best I've found so far for me.


More information about the Python-list mailing list