Choosing a Python IDE. what is your Pythonish recommendation? I do not know what to choose.

Steve D'Aprano steve+python at
Mon Jan 2 20:57:40 EST 2017

On Mon, 2 Jan 2017 10:38 pm, Antonio Caminero Garcia wrote:

> Hello, I am having a hard time deciding what IDE or IDE-like code editor
> should I use. This can be overwhelming.

Linux is my IDE.

I dislike the Unix-style Vim/Emacs text editors, I prefer a traditional
GUI-based editor. So my "IDE" is:

- Firefox, for doing searches and looking up documentation;

- an GUI programmer's editor, preferably one with a tab-based 
  interface, such as geany or kate;

- a tab-based terminal.

Both geany and kate offer auto-completion based on previously seen words.
They won't auto-complete function or method signatures, but in my my
experience this is the "ninety percent" solution: word-based auto-complete
provides 90% of the auto-complete functionality without the cost of full
signature-based auto-complete.

In the terminal, I have at least three tabs open: one open to the Python
interactive interpreter, for testing code snippets and help(obj); one where
I run my unit tests ("python -m unittest myproject_tests"); and one where I
do any assorted other tasks, such as file management, checking code into
the repo, etc.

I've played with mypy a few times, but not used it seriously in any
projects. If I did, I would run that from the command line too, like the
unit tests. Likewise for any linters or equivalent.

> So far, I have used Vim, Sublime, Atom, Eclipse with PyDev, Pycharm,
> IntelliJ with Python plugin.
> The thing with the from-the-scratch full featured IDEs (Eclipse, IntelliJ,
> Pycharm) is that they look like a space craft dashboard and that
> unwarranted resources consumption and the unnecessary icons. 

Indeed. If they provide any useful functionality I don't already have, I've
never come across it. The only thing I'd like to try is an editor that
offers semantic highlighting instead of syntax highlighting:

I once tried Spyder as an IDE, and found that it was so bloated and slow it
couldn't even keep up with my typing. I'm not even a touch typist! I'd
start to type a line like:

    except ValueError as err:

and by the time my fingers were hitting the colon, Spyder was displaying
`excep` in red flagged with an icon indicating a syntax error.

“Cheer up,” they said, “things could be worse.” So I cheered up, and sure
enough, things got worse.

More information about the Python-list mailing list