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

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Mon Dec 31 23:54:18 CET 2012

On Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 9:46 AM, Ben Finney <ben+python at> wrote:
> Hans Mulder <hansmu at> writes:
>> Don't bother: Python comes with a free IDE named IDLE.
> And any decent Unix-alike (most OSen apart from Windows) comes with its
> own IDE: the shell, a good text editor (Vim or Emacs being the primary
> candidates), and a terminal multiplexor (such as ‘tmux’ or GNU Screen).
> Learning to use that development environment will benefit you far more
> than any language-specific tool.

And more than that: Learning to use that development environment gives
you the flexibility to swap out components individually. "The shell"
could be one of several (though bash seems to be the most popular),
the editor is one of many, and there are a good few options for
terminal arrangement (tmux, screen, gnome-terminal, etc). So what if
you decide you don't like vim OR emacs - you can still use the "Unix
IDE" with some other editor. Most IDEs don't have that facility.

It's a question of freedom. Would you let someone else choose what
shoes you're allowed to wear? Then why cede over the choice of
development software? No matter how awesome those shoes are, it's an
unnecessary restriction in freedom.

Of course, you're free to use an IDE if you want to, too. I don't see
much point in it, but if that's how you swing, go for it.


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