If you’re taking Python lessons online, you will eventually need a good IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to write better code. The command line interface can only prove so useful. At Python.com you can download a native IDE called IDLE (Integrated Development and Learning Environment). However, it is rather basic in scope, and debugging can consume more time than necessary. With this in mind, here are a few of the best IDEs for Python which add to your productivity.
PyCharm by JetBrains is quite popular and works like a “charm” for Python developers at all levels of expertise. Intelligent features include a code-completing editor which gives context-aware suggestions as you type. You can indent automatically, detect duplicate text, and check highlights for errors. Also, there are smart search features to search for every single word in a jiffy. Apart from Go-To’s, there is a Lens mode to hover near text, and you can even bookmark it to go back later.
Of course, an IDE with so many smart features is not cheap and will set you back by $200/user. However, that is only the first-year cost, and from the third year you can expect to pay $119/user. PyCharm is excellent for the ultimate professional. The learning curve is minimal, and you can find a complete set of tutorials on the JetBrains website.
If you’re willing to forgo a little convenience for something open source and free, PyDev offers a useful interface. Remember that it comes with Eclipse, which is available separately. For a free IDE, PyDev is not lacking smart coding features. These include automatic code completion, smart indents and block indents, highlighting matching brackets, simple search and a debugger. Furthermore, all necessary features are available in the navigation menu itself, and you can analyze your codes easily.
3. Atom IDE
If you’re looking for a Python text editor that contains the “cheats” to every problem you can imagine, Atom is the best fit. In fact, they consider themselves a “hackable” text editor for the 21st century. This free and open-source community, backed by an MIT license, is like the Wikipedia of Python codes. There are over 8000 packages you can install from the Atom website. Besides, they even have a Slack community where you can find help and collaboration for your projects.
4. Wing Python
Another IDE, Wing Python, is a really premium editor which leaves no feature behind. Its personal edition is free but not limited by features. Moreover, you can use all the basic purposes including auto-completion, syntax highlighting, indents and debugging. A full-featured professional version costs $245/user/year for commercial use, which is far too expensive. However, it contains advanced features including a powerful search engine, Django and other framework support.
Compared to PyCharm, it does not compare very well, though, even after charging more money. However, one of Python’s guiding mottos is to make codes beautiful. In this case the interface is clean and minimal, which allows for beautiful codes which take far less time.
PyScripter is a very new version environment for Python, and its latest stable version was released just two months ago. It is completely free and open source and extremely lightweight, unlike the premium IDEs. The compliler comes with all basic features of a coding platform and can serve the needs of beginners as well as experts. All programs are seen in the running window, and you can run them multiple times to check for bugs. Again, this is one of the best free IDEs out there, and you will not be disappointed.
According to the developer community at StackOverflow.com, Python is the fastest growing major programming language. This fits correctly with its increasing use in Internet of Things and Big Data applications. Working seriously with the Python software program requires access to a best-in-class IDE. Indeed, no matter which software you use from this article, you will not be unhappy with the results.
Do you have a personal favorite? Please let us know in the comments.
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