Friday, May 09, 2008

IDE update

Last night the Utah Python User Group held an editor/IDE smackdown. I'm not going to write an exhaustive summary, but here are some highlights:
  • ViM's OmniComplete is actually pretty decent. Calltip support in the GUI is also good. (GUI? ViM? Yeah, weird.)
  • Emacs completion, from Rope, is also good. Emacs's refusal to make any concession to GUIs though keeps things clunky. Not that it isn't great that Everything Works over plain ssh; that's fine, but going through classic Emacs buffers for docstrings or completion means everything takes more keystrokes than it should while being less useful than having that information Always On.
  • Rope also gives Emacs refactoring support that works surprisingly well.
  • PyDev still sees a big win from the Eclipse platform. Specifically, even though Subclipse and Subversive are a bit weak compared to the gold standard (that would be TortoiseSVN), they are much better than what you get with Komodo or Wing. Now that I am on OS X (no Tortoise) this is a bigger issue for me than it used to be.
  • PyDev Extensions has refactoring support now, too.
  • Komodo has limited support for completion inside django templates. Which is impressive, since the commands allowed in django templates aren't really Python, which is to say that you can't just use the same completion support that you use for normal Python code.
  • Mako template support with completion, anyone?
  • The latest versions of Komodo and Wing both integrate unittest support. Wing also supports doctest out of the box. Meaning, you click a button, your tests run, you get a pretty summary with click-to-go-to-the-source-of-the-error support. This might get me to finally upgrade to Wing 3. It's not that "python" is so hard, so much as I do it so often that even a little more convenience adds up.
I was surprised how well ViM and Emacs do with Python now. ViM's modern inline interface for code completion and Emacs's refactoring support are particularly nice. The IDEs still win on the I part (Integration), in particular debugging and (for Eclipse at least) svn support.

Update: Ryan McGuire blogged about his Emacs presentation in more detail.

Update 2: John Anderson blogged about setting up ViM


shmook said...

Nice summary! Did they mention Eric too? It looked very promising when I tried it some time ago.

pythoncoder said...

If you're looking for a decent mako editor, try ulipad. It does python too.

Granted ulipad isn't advanced, but it's snappy and *just works*. Give it a try. I use it exclusively for editing mako stuff.

I recommend using the svn version as the author is pretty active.

Nat said...

Are you talking about Komodo Edit or Komodo IDE ? Komodo IDE has pretty nice support for SVN, you can see diffs, navigate history etc...

Lee said...

The problem with Komodo is that I can't seem to make it correctly understand relative imports. Whereas PyDev Extensions does, flawlessly.

Doug Napoleone said...

I must say that when it comes to debugging large complex python programs (Django, Plone, Twisted), Wing wins hands down. The remote and probe debugging is far superior to any of the other IDE's. The ability to click anywhere on the stack and have an interpreter set to that stack frame improved my productivity more than any other feature. Komodo has decent debug capabilities (including remote debugging) but it is so slow, that it is pretty much unusable. There are also some massive bugs in komodo when you get to a large number of files open. Search stops working properly for one! I end up spending equal time in Wing and Komodo, mainly because Komodo it the IDE I use at work for doing C/C++/python/perl cross development, where a perl debugger is critical when I have to go there.

Komodo Edit is too restrictive for me. Don't care for it.

David said...

On my Mac, I recently found something similar to TortoiseSVN, but for the Mac. You may want to checkout It integrates with Finder, similarly to the way that Tortoise does with explorer on windows.

Also, I typically do SVN operations right within emacs using the psvn package, which should come installed "out-of-the-box" in most recent emacs dists... Can't get me enough emacs lovin, myself.

jimGr said...

take a look at editra.

Although brand new(ver 0.sth), is written in python, has vi emulation, uses scintella, takes an OK in interface/auto completion abilites.

I think it worths a try!

uninverted said...

I never really got into the whole Big IDE thing; I normally just use IDLE (when stranded on windows, because it comes with python) or Emacs (because it's really good, comes with my distro, and I use it for everything else anyways).

Fabio Zadrozny said...

Reply to Doug Napoleone:

Have you already tried Pydev/Pydev Extensions? I believe it can fulfill your requisites there. It has: Remote Debugging, select stack for local variables, multiple threads, breakpoint on condition, watches, console to issue commands to a given place in the stack, hyperlinks in console, python/jython support, etc... and it should be pretty fast too.

Viagra said...

I think that this update will be very useful for all Python users. I hope that continuing creating something like this.