[Tutor] While learning Py: To IDE or not to IDE?

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Mon May 21 02:36:08 CEST 2012

boB Stepp wrote:

> Finally to the question: With the stated goals above, would it be
> better to invest time now at the front-end in learning a powerful IDE,

Depends on the powerful IDE. Personally, I haven't found an IDE that I like 
since I last used THINK Pascal on Apple Mac back in the 1990s.

Since you are using Solaris, I expect your options for IDEs are limited. 
You're probably best off using Unix as your IDE:


which is my preferred solution. There's very little I can't do between my 
editor and a terminal window with a few tabs open.

If you can run KDE 3, I recommend "kate" (KDE Advanced Text Editor). Avoid KDE 
4, it is bloated and buggy and slow.

> or am I better served, while learning Python, to stick with IDLE and
> the shell and worry about an IDE later? I am willing to invest time
> now on learning an IDE if it will save me time overall. IF it would be
> beneficial now to learn an IDE, then it begs the question 

No it doesn't. It RAISES the question -- begging the question means to *assume 
the answer in the question*, and it is a logical fallacy.

"Notepad is the best editor, because no other editor is as good as Notepad" is 
begging the question.


> as to
> whether I should search for the best IDE for Python, then later the
> best one for Java, etc., or, instead, look for the best one that can
> handle all of the languages I plan to learn and use.

That depends on the IDEs themselves. Good applications (whether an IDE or 
something else) should make it easy to discover functionality and as simple to 
learn as the task allows, so there's no disadvantage to exploring a number of 
good IDEs rather than committing to one early on and then sticking with it 


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