Newbie Help

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Tue Jan 3 19:55:21 EST 2012

On Tue, 03 Jan 2012 17:13:17 -0600, mixolydian wrote:

> I would like some advice on:
>   1. IDEs

Avoid them. Everything you need can be used with two applications:

- a programmer's text editor;
- a decent terminal (console) application.

A decent text editor will allow you to have multiple files open in tabs 
and rich editing tools, including completion. A decent terminal will 
allow you to have multiple sessions open, also in tabs. I have at least 
one session open to an interactive interpreter, for experimenting at the 
Python command line, and at least one other open to run my python code, 
run unit tests and doc tests, and manage source code control.


python -m doctest  # run the doc tests
python -m unittest  # run a separate test suite
python --options # and finally run the app itself

For flexibility and power, no IDE can beat the command line.

Some editors are integrated with the source control app of your choice (I 
prefer Mercurial), but I am happy to use the Mercurial command line 
tools. It's easier to find the answers to "how do I ..." when you aren't 
limited to a single editor's idiosyncrasies.

Best of all, I don't have to learn a bunch of unique IDE commands which 
don't work anywhere else. I just use my normal tools.

>   2. GUI tools, tkinter and others

tkinter is pretty much the lowest common denominator. It's good, 
especially now that it has native widgets, but if you want something 
better, you might like to try wxPython.

>   3. An integrated web server package for Win Vista 

Try cherrypy, which includes its own web server as well as a web 


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