[Tutor] Which Python Script Editor of Choice?

Alan Gauld alan.gauld at btinternet.com
Thu Apr 3 17:57:10 CEST 2008

"Jeffrey Dates" <kungfukoi at gmail.com> wrote

> So as I'm starting to get into writing some scripts, I'm looking for
> recommendations for a nifty script editor.  Ideally a 
> freeware/shareware
> solution until I can justify a purchase of something more beefy.

editor choice is a sensitive topic for programmers and
tends to lead to religious wars.

> Currently I'm using PSPad, however it's pretty dumb and doesn't 
> recognize
> Python context.  Which, I suppose is fine, but would be nice if 
> there was
> one.  Especially since I'm learning.

If you are on Windows then the Pythonwin editor is pretty good.

Or for a simple editor you can use Scite which is the same editor
engine as Pythonwin but includes multiple tabbed panes. But
doesn't include an interactive shell.

At the other end of the scale you can install PyDev into the
eclipse editor which is a good solution if you already use
Eclipse for anything else.

emacs and vim can both be made Python aware too.

And there are lots of others that each has their followers.
SPE and Ala Mode(comes with wxPython) are others that
I personally tried and found OK.

My normal tools are:
Pythonwin for short coding sessions or when using the >>>
prompt a lot.
For longer coding sesssions I use the 3 window approach:
vijm for editing, a DOS(Cygwin) window for running the code and
another Cygwin window running the Python >>> prompt.
And Alt-Tab to switch between them.

> My run time environment is IDLE.

But IDLE should never be your main run time environment.
It is an IDE for developing code but you should run the code
under the interpreter within the OS, you will generally get better
(more predicatable!) results that way. The IDLE editor is
OK too of course but I assumed you didn't want it for
some reason?


Alan Gauld
Author of the Learn to Program web site

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