So far (about editing tools)

Michael Ekstrand mekstran at
Fri Oct 7 04:56:14 CEST 2005

On Thursday 06 October 2005 15:45, Micah Elliott wrote:
> On Oct 06, Kenneth McDonald wrote:
> > The only _real_ problem is the eclipse learning curve.
> The only real *advantage* of Eclipse (over other suggested tools) is
> its highly hyped automatic refactoring.  Admittedly, I have not used
> it for Python development, but I'm skeptical of the feasibility of
> auto-refactoring in general, and therefore acknowledge *no*
> advantage. Furthermore, Eclipse requires java and is thusly not
> provided on any linux distro I'm familiar with, which I consider a
> huge roadblock.  And as mentioned, it's bloated.

Eclipse is massively bloated. We're using it for a class I'm taking 
where we have to program in Java... when I start Eclipse on my 1.7GHz 
laptop w/ 256 MB ram, Eclipse is very slow and KDE takes forever to 
switch desktops or applications... Eclipse running brings my entire 
laptop to a near-standstill.

And refactoring: Eclipse has incredible Java refactoring, which works 
beautifully due to Java's highly static nature. Eclipse is by far the 
best tool I've ever seen for browsing and manipulating Java projects. 
But Python's highly dynamic nature makes automatic refactoring 
difficult, and I find Bicycle Repair Man has difficulty with even some 
highly trivial refactoring things (renaming the variable in a for loop 
in one place I tried to use it...).

> I would suspect that the majority of Python programmers write in one
> of vim or emacs. Anyone got stats?

+1 Vim. But no stats.

Perhaps a survey of Python source files found on the Internet for 
prevailing modelines would be revealing?

- Michael

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