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

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Tue Jan 1 05:20:13 CET 2013

On Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 2:55 PM, Steven D'Aprano
<steve+comp.lang.python at> wrote:
> On Sun, 30 Dec 2012 09:30:10 +1100, Chris Angelico wrote:
>> Absolutely! Though it's roughly as good to have the current cursor
>> position shown in a status line somewhere, and takes up less real
>> estate. But yes, vital to be able to see that. Even when I'm sitting
>> *right next to* my boss and communicating verbally, I'll talk about the
>> code by quoting line numbers. "Let me explain. (No, there is too much.
>> Let me sum up.) Pull up foobar dot jay ess and go to line 254-ish - see
>> how the frobnosticator always gets called with a quuxed argument?"
> I call shenanigans :-P
> I don't expect that you keep in your head the line numbers (even the line
> numbers-ish) of interesting or pertinent features of your code,
> *especially* while the code is in active development and the line numbers
> are rapidly changing. I think it is far more likely that you keep
> function, class or method names in your head (after all, you are
> presumably reading and writing those names very often), and when you want
> to demonstrate some feature, you *first* look it up by higher-level
> object ("let's see the frob_quux function") to get the line number.

Neither. You're correct that I don't memorize line numbers; but the
point of them was not to synchronize a screen with a brain, but to
synchronize two screens. So you're also correct that I look it up to
get the line number. But I'm not locating a function; if I wanted
that, I'd use that. No, I'm pointing to a specific line of code.

> Assuming that your functions and methods are not obnoxiously huge, I
> think having a good class browser which lets you jump directly to
> functions or methods is *far* more useful than line numbers, in this
> context.

They're not obnoxiously huge, but even twenty lines is too coarse when
you're trying to explain one line of code. Way too coarse. I want to
pinpoint what I'm talking about.


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