New to python, do I need an IDE or is vim still good enough?

Monte Milanuk memilanuk at
Sat Dec 29 21:51:52 CET 2012

On 12/29/2012 11:52 AM, Roy Smith wrote:

> Chris Angelico <rosuav at> wrote:
> [regarding
>> Bracket matching
>> Language-sensitive auto-indentation
>> and automatically indents
> Yeah, what he said, plus syntax coloring.  And keyword highlighting.
> And autocompletion of variable names.

I'll probably get dog-piled by the vim/emacs folks again here... but 
isn't that something most decent text editors do?

On 12/29/2012 11:52 AM, Roy Smith wrote:
> And parsing of error messages.
> I'll pause a moment to let that sink in.  Grok the fullness of just how
> awesome a feature it is.
> In emacs, for example. I'll do C-C M (which I have bound to M-X
> Compile).  This runs a command and captures the output in a buffer.  If
> the output happens to contain something like:
> Traceback (most recent call last):
>    File
> "/home/roy/production/python/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/nose/case.
> py", line 197, in runTest
>      self.test(*self.arg)
>    File "/home/roy/songza/api2/", line 16, in test_get_api
>      data = requests.get(url('api/v2/')).json
>    File "/home/roy/songza/api2/", line 13, in url
>      assert route.startswith('/')
> AssertionError
> emacs will parse that, highlight the filenames and line numbers and if I
> type M-`, it'll take me to the line of the next error (including opening
> the file if it's not already open).
> I assume other smart editors have similar capabilities.  Different tools
> have different combinations of these, or slightly different
> implementations.  Find one you like and learn all of it's capabilities.
> It makes a huge difference in how productive you are.

While I probably don't use the vast majority of the 'fancy' features of 
most IDEs - most of what I do barely requires any real 'project 
manangement'... there are a couple things that I've gotten *very* used 
to with an IDE.

One is having it run pylint and pep8 checks against code, display the 
output in a friendly format with links straight to the offending items 
and even displaying colored carats in the gutter region and 
high-lighting them.

The other is having it parse my imports, and use them for the 
'auto-complete' aka 'code intelligence' features - and not just the 
standard library stuff, but also GUI toolkits like PyQt4.

I'm pretty sure those things can be done, or something fairly close at 
least, in editors like vim or emacs... but the few times I looked into 
it for vim, it was enough to send me running back to Eclipse/PyDev, even 
if it is kind of an 800lb gorilla otherwise.

It's still on my 'one of these days' list of things to do, though ;)

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