Choice of Python development tools


11-03-2006 00:54:15

Hi everyone,

I'm curious to hear what tools other people use to do Python development? Most of what I have done is the standard "command line and <insert favorite text editor>" I recently tried Eclipse with the PyDev plugin. Some of the refactoring options were kind of neat, but I'm still getting used to how "heavyweight" Eclipse is. I get the idea that most of the Python community feels like an IDE just gets in your way. Can I hear some opinions from people who use PyOgre? Has anybody tried any other IDE that supports Python development?



11-03-2006 02:12:02

Actually I've looked around for a good one, all the ones that look interesting cost money. I have one installed that is nice, but not conducive to what I do, I can look it up on my computer when I get home if you want. Otherwise I just normally use IDLE that comes with the python install.


11-03-2006 02:25:34

I use eclipse and find it extremely useful. Obviously, due to its dynamic nature, python isn't totally suited to IDE's, but even being able to jump to function definitions is kinda handy, and just having a general overview of a project's structure makes things clearer in my mind.
Admittedly it does take a little while to be comfortable with it (as with most IDE's I imagine), but is worth it in my opinion. There's quite a few time-saving tools from error hi-lighting to code navigation which just make life that little bit easier, and if there's anything that does upset you, you can usually disable it either through preferences or editing the code (being open-source and all that).
Being able to use the same environment irrespective of which language you are using is also kinda nice (I believe eclipse has plug ins for most of the popular languages, though am not an expert)
As for the heavy-handedness, I can see what you mean, but again, once you're used to it, everything does make a lot of sense, and you lose that feeling of not quite being sure what's going on that you get when first using IDE's. To be honest, I can't really imagine doing a serious project entirely in something like textpad (brilliant as it is).
So, yeah, thumbs up fom me, your mileage may vary.


11-03-2006 10:15:23

I use SPE (, and I am pretty happy with it. I didn't tried something else though ^^


11-03-2006 19:18:20

Using IDLE here. Curious if eclipse is any better for game development?


11-03-2006 22:15:23

Yea, SPE is what I had installed. Nice editor, just wierd working environment with something else I used, would probobly be good for this.


12-03-2006 19:34:54

I use Eclipse for "projects", and SciTe (my fav. text editor) for smaller scripts. With Eclipse you get easy navigation, project overview, integrated version control and a lot more I don't remember now :)


13-03-2006 14:35:03

I've heard that there's a refactoring plugin for IDLE called "Bicycle repair shop". Has anybody tried that out? Again, what I really liked about Eclipse was the refactoring options, but I like how lightweight IDLE is, and the fact that it gives me easy access to Python's interactive "command line". Maybe with the right plugins, IDLE would suit my needs.

I'll have to give SPE a try. I just looked at the website briefly, and it looked nice. What sort of refactoring features does it have?



14-03-2006 06:42:23

SPE has the nice things that I use, refactoring to the extent that if you rename a class it renames all uses of that class as well, it does not have, but considering I might do that once every half year, meh. It is quite nice though, pydoc, can call the interpreter so you can test even specific functions/classes and such, etc... I wouldn't exactly call IDLE lightweight, mabye in its feature set, but if you use the interpreter for any length of time it starts slowing down pretty massively (of course, it might have something to do with the amount of things I stuff into its memory), to the point even typing something slows down. Also, it redraws badly, if you drag it around, it doesn't update quickly. But I like it as easy access to the interpreter, I seem to always have at least one IDLE interpreter window up. :)


14-03-2006 15:34:46

I use Eclipse and PyDev. It's cram-packed with features. It even has a debugger.


17-03-2006 00:54:52

I'll take a look at eclipse again sometime then. I kinda got away from it, it seems a bit... too slow. To quote John Carmack for another purpose: "there is something deeply wrong when text editing on a 3.6 ghz processor is anything but instantaneous."


20-03-2006 20:11:44


currently using these two tools:
a) (wxPytihon)
b) (GTK)



21-04-2006 13:57:56

Well, I finally got around to trying out Eclipse + PyDev. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was able to get the environment set up and actually run a PyOgre app. I've actually used Eclipse for Java development at work for months, but I had the impression that it was only really good for Java. I've had bad experiences with IDEs in the past, in which it took hours to get the IDE to do something that it wasn't specifically designed to do. This time it took me about 15 minutes to set it up, import my PyOgre projects, and get them running.

Kris Schnee

18-05-2006 09:56:15

I use IDLE, which by the way is written in Tkinter, an interface module usable in Python!

IDLE is lightweight in that it's simple and easy to use.


01-06-2006 01:55:51

IDLE is good for a quick edit, but it is anything but lightweight, it start slowing down pretty well after heavy use and long files...


07-06-2006 16:57:17

I tried Spe once, but when I ran PyOgre from within it and an unhandled exception was raised, Spe would just die with no errors. Don't know if it still does this though.


08-06-2006 21:21:27

I use PyPe ( It has some interesting features and an appreciable sintax highlighting :wink: