Eclipse (with PyDev Plug-In)
PyDev is a third party Python IDE plugin for the Eclipse IDE which is well known as the most used Java IDE. PyDev provides an editor with code auto-completion, code analysis, code folding, refactoring, graphical debugging, mark occurrence, as well as other features. It can be used in Python, Jython and IronPython development. This Python IDE comes with web framework Django integrated in. Pydev also comes with remote debugging functionality and integrated unit testing.
Wing IDE is a cross-platform python IDE that comes in two commercial full featured versions called Wing IDE Personal and Wing IDE Professional, and also a free simple python IDE called Wing 101. This python IDE comes with a powerful editor, with features such as auto-completion, error checking, invocation assistance, go-to definition, refactoring, multiple selections etc. Wing IDE includes a debugger capable of visual data display, interactive debug command line and remote functionality. It includes version control, supporting Mercurial, Git, Subversion, Perforce, etc. It has been designed to produce fast, accurate and fun python development in a full featured python IDE.
Visual Studio with Python Tools Add-On (PVTS)
Visual Studio with the inclusion of the Python Tools add-on, produces a very powerful python IDE, that is better known in the python community as PVTS. It is limited in the sense that it is not cross-platform and only supports the Windows operating system. Visual Studio is mostly known as a commercial software, however there is now a free version at the time of writing known as Visual Studio Community. Python tools is a free open-source plug-in that has been designed, developed and supported by Microsoft and the community. This python IDE’s editor includes tooltips, code-completion, and snippets in order to make your python programming more productive. It provides third-party library support, which can be installed and managed using its PyPi, pip and virtual environment support. This python IDE includes debugging; interactively diagnosing your code on both Windows and linux. Visual studio includes source control, allowing you to manage your Git/TFS projects without the use of a command line. This python IDE allows you to unit test your code, making sure it is working correctly without the need to leave the IDE. This is a python IDE that has grown in popularity; it would not be suitable for someone looking for a light python IDE.
Atom is a modern text editor developed to be approachable and customisable at its core. It was designed to be customisable to do anything and allow the user to be productive. It is a cross-platform, free and open-source IDE that runs on Electron a framework for building cross-platform applications. At the heart of this editor is a built-in package manager. It is with these packages that allows you to produce a feature rich python IDE. It provides smart code auto-completion, as well as a well-designed user interface, including a file system browser system to manage your files and projects, and a multi pane layout to view code from several files. The thousands of open-source packages available are what really makes this IDE stand out. Allowing you to add functionality to your IDE via these packages, and if you cannot find an existing package with the features you seek, you can always build your own. There is a large variety of UI and syntax themes allowing you to personalise the user interface to your liking. If you like the idea of customising your python IDE to your specification, and appreciate a beautiful interface, this python IDE is probably for you. If you’re not into tinkering and prefer a what you see is what you get python IDE, this is probably not for you. This is a light python IDE, and so should be considered if that is within your criteria.
Sublime Text 3
Sublime Text is a sophisticated cross-platform text editor. At the time of writing Sublime Text 3 is a beta release, that is advertised as being free to evaluate (no enforced time limit), and requiring purchasing of a license for continued use. Sublime Text 3 is a light python IDE designed to be beautiful and fast. A notable feature is its Go To Anything functionality allowing the user to open files with only a few keystrokes and jump to symbols, lines or words. It’s strong multiple selection capabilities allows a user to make ten changes at the same time. This python IDE includes a Command Palette, allowing the user to search for infrequently used features instead of having to navigate through menus. The distraction free mode, allows you to concentrate on your code, by creating a full-screen, chrome free editing mode, with nothing but your code in the centre of the screen. Sublime Text also supports split-screen editing. Sublime Text possesses a powerful Python based plugin API, as well as a built in python console. The python IDE is highly customizable with the help of simple JSON files. There exists a plug-in called Anaconda that turns your Sublime Text 3 into a python development IDE.
Spyder is an open-source cross-platform and free python IDE that stands for Scientific Python Development EnviRonment. This a powerful platform for any Data Scientist, as it includes a numerical computing environment from the support with IPython, and popular scientific libraries such as NumPy, SciPy and matplotlib. This python IDE is also capable of being used as a library to provide console-related widgets for PyQt based applications. One of the great features of this python IDE is direct links to Python, some of its libraries and Qt documentation. Its editor includes standard features such as auto-completion and syntax colouring; as well as a debugger and code outline explorer. It is designed for scientific programming in python, and that is exactly what it does best.
Python IDE Notable Mentions:
- Eric Python IDE