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Python IDEs and code editors compilation

Matvey Romanov
Hello, world! I'm a professional FullStack self-taught developer from Moscow. I truly love web-development and all that it concerns. Making websites is awesome. Follow me if you need some help
・5 min read

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced developer, quality IDEs or code editors are useful. With them, you don't need to spend a lot of time setting up tools, and they help optimize development. In addition, constant updates help developers keep track of innovations. Let's go through the well-known IDE and code editor for Python and analyze their pros and cons.

PyCharm

Cross-platform IDE is compatible with Linux, macOS, and Windows. Supports Python versions 2 (2.7) and Python 3 (3.5 and higher). It comes with testing and debugging support, refactoring features, and code navigation. It also allows you to run, debug, test, and deploy applications on remote hosts or virtual machines.

The professional edition allows you to use popular frameworks and libraries for Data Science. The code editor supports JavaScript, TypeScript, CoffeeScript, JS, and Node.js, AngularJS, and more.

PyCharm can be integrated with VCS and database tools; remote interpreters, SSH clients, Vagrant and Docker, Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and SQL Server. It also supports IPython Notebook, Anaconda, and so on.

Pros:

  • the ability to view the entire source code with a single click;
  • lots of plugins;
  • easy to use;
  • great community support;
  • easy installation.

Cons:

  • some chips are only available in the paid version;
  • there may be a problem when trying to fix tools like venv;
  • resource-intensive.

Sublime Text

Sublime Text is a cross-platform text editor in C++ and Python. Originally developed as an extension for Vim. Since version 2.0, it supports 44 major programming languages, including Python. Its main principles: a minimalistic interface and an emphasis on code.

It is a fast text editor for organizing code. It is easy to configure, has high performance and a powerful API. In addition, it is convenient to switch between projects, search for specific fragments in the code and go to any function or symbol.

Pros:

  • high performance;
  • simple interface;
  • supports many languages.

Cons:

  • no debugger;
  • it may be difficult for beginners;
  • you need a license.

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is an open-source cross-platform code editor from Microsoft. Inside, there is a debugger, an IntelliSense code auto-completion mechanism, Lint support, and integration with version control systems. As well as a built-in terminal and a large market of free extensions and the ability to work with the frameworks nunit mstest, pytest or nose.

For fans of a minimalistic interface, there is a "zen mode". It only shows the file you are currently working on and hides the "extra" interface.

VS Code is a lightweight IDE that can be extended with a variety of plugins. It also adds support for new languages, themes, debugger, and so on.

Pros:

  • almost five thousand extensions;
  • import keyboard shortcuts from other code editors;
  • easy;
  • user-friendly interface.

Cons:

  • slow startup;
  • slow search;
  • performance is reduced if you install a lot of plugins.

Atom

An open-source cross-platform editor written in CSS, JavaScript, HTML, and Node.js.

Atom comes with a built-in package manager where you can download and install additional packages. And also create your own. A large community is working on creating new packages.

Atom has Git and GitHub integration, and the ability to work on code together with colleagues in real-time using Teletype.

The editor has a clean and fully customizable user interface, with 8 light and dark themes pre-installed. You can configure everything, right down to the basic functions.

Pros:

  • fully customizable interface;
  • built-in package manager;
  • great community support.

Cons:

  • takes up a lot of RAM;
  • need optimization;
  • the performance is lower than that of some competitors (for example, Sublime Text).

Thonny

Thonny is a free Python IDE designed specifically for beginners. Comes with a built-in version of Python v3. x. Compatible with Linux, macOS, and Windows.

The built-in debugger makes it easy to find syntax errors, such as parentheses and unclosed quotes. In addition, it is easy to use, and you do not need to know the breakpoints.

Variables are represented based on a simplified model (but you can also switch to realistic ones). It also has a simple package installation interface and a record of user actions. It is useful to analyze the work at first.

Pros:

  • simple interface;
  • suitable for beginners;
  • no distractions.

Cons:

  • the basic functionality may not be enough to work with.

Spyder

An IDE designed for data analysts and engineers and compatible with Linux, macOS, and Windows.

Spyder uses a PDB debugger that displays the line, file, and state of each breakpoint. And can quickly edit variables at each point through the variable explorer. By the way, the explorer itself shows links to all objects and allows you to interact with them.

The IDE comes with a large library that is loaded when installed with Anaconda. You can also download more than 1,500 additional Python or R data science packages. Spyder also allows you to extend the functionality with third-party plugins, such as Spyder Notebook, Terminal, UnitTest, Reports, and so on.

Pros:

  • fairly light and fast;
  • easy to learn, suitable for beginners;
  • suitable for research work.

Cons:

  • difficulties with the integration of version control systems;
  • it is difficult to configure.

Pyzo

An open-source cross-platform IDE for Python that strives for simplicity and interactivity.

The system is based on two components: the shell and the tools. These include the source structure, online help, workspace, project manager, and so on. The code for Pyzo is written in Python 3 with a Qt GUI.

The shell includes magic commands, creating multiple configurations, pip support for package management, PySide, Tk, PyQt4, GTK, fltk, and wx, post-mortem debugging, and more.

Pros:

  • simple;
  • good support for beginners.

Cons:

  • you need a distribution.

Eric Python IDE

This is a cross-platform IDE written in Python. Eric has a powerful debugger that debugs multithreaded and multiprocessor programs. There is support for unit testing, a built-in hex editor, an SQL browser, an icon designer, and many other tools. Thanks to the built-in Qt supports the creation of graphical interfaces using Qt Designer.

The IDE has an advanced project management system, an automatic code completion feature, and the ability to collaborate in real-time. Eric supports Mercurial and SVN version control. Git support is available through the plugin.

Pros

  • suitable for complex projects;
  • spell check;
  • the ability to work with other developers in real-time.

Cons:

  • overloaded interface;
  • it can be difficult to install.

Vim

Cross-platform modal code editor for Python. Supports three operating modes: normal, insert mode, and command-line mode.

Vim is free software that supports many plugins and extensions and works with different programming languages. It is configured by adding extensions or changing its configuration file. So, it is easy to adapt it for Python development.

It also supports non-software applications that other editors don't have.

Pros:

  • recognition and conversion of file formats (UNIX, MS-DOS or Mac);
  • lots of plugins;
  • you can configure and extend it with .vimrc.

Cons:

  • it takes time to master;
  • not the most user-friendly interface.

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Discussion (2)

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hanpari profile image
Pavel Morava • Edited

I had to laugh hard when I read that VS Code suffers from a slow startup, while PyCharm not.

Compared to editors like Vim, VS Code is a slow starter, but with PyCharm as a competitor, VS Code is Usain Bolt.

Did you mention JupyterLab and Jupyter Notebook? I believe it is the third most used environment for Python.

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ra1nbow1 profile image
Matvey Romanov Author

Too exactly