To make your work the best version of itself, you need to pick the tools of the trade very carefully. This article would be about assault rifles if you were going to war, but since your wars are hidden in source codes written in Python, we’ll just talk about the best Python IDEs out there.
IDEs or Integrated Development Environment are software packages used to write, test and debug the programs. It also directly boosts the developer’s efficiency by blending in these components with simple user interfaces. An IDE comes with features like build automation, code linting, testing and debugging, thus, winging the developer’s work.
People often seem to get confused between code editors and IDEs. Code editors are tools that can be used to write and edit code. They can be great in learning stages. However, once your program gets larger, you need to test and debug your code, that’s where IDEs come in. IDEs also come with numerous libraries and toolkits that helps the developer in many ways. Although, some IDEs can bring on muddles at the start, but it’ll be a child’s play to use them as soon as you get their habit.
It must be quite evident to you now that having a perfect development environment can make your efficiency go berserk. Let’s take a look at some of the best editors and IDEs for Python.
PyCharm is a free, and one of the best IDEs for Python development. It is a cross-platform IDE which means that it is compatible with Windows, MacOS, and Linux as well. It was created by JetBrains, a big name in the software development. It contains API that allows developers to write their Python plugins to extend basic features. It also is among the best Python IDEs for its usage in programs using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
PyCharm also sets itself apart as it merges its libraries to allow the developers change their environment if they want to. It is also known for granting space to developers for remote development. Its Live editing mode and IPython notebook makes it one of the best Python IDEs out there.
Some more features:
- It has some great features like smart search and smart code navigation that comes handy in bug fixes.
- Supports numerous web frameworks including Pyramid, Flask, and Django.
Although, PyCharm might seem complex to use at the start due to a cumbersome user interface but it’s very useful after you get its habit. The pro version is also said to be a little overpriced. But the features outweigh the cons by a great margin and, hence, it secures first position in our list of best IDEs for Python development.
- Sublime Text 3
Sublime text 3 is a cross-platform, freemium priced, code editor that supports many languages including Python. It’s universal and simple nature makes it the best code editor for Python.
It has the basic built-in support required for Python Development. But you can also create a full-fledged Python development environment by installing software packages debugging, auto-completion, code linting, etc. There are also various packages for scientific development, Django, Flask and so on.
Sublime Text 3 is known for its swift navigation and high performance. Another gun in Sublime Text 3’s arsenal are those code snippets that clone common syntaxes by just one keywords. Immediate project switching and split editing are also one of the best features of Sublime Text 3.
Some more features
- Allows high performance owing to a strong API and an organized ecosystem
- Works with different markup languages
- Enables developers to choose which projects they want to work on due to its support with many languages.
- It displays badges for folders and file to indicate Git status.
Sublime text 3 as a choice for the beginners might not be wise. It is said to be designed for providing development environment for people who’ve had some experience in development. Also, its Git plugin is said to be weak. But overall, it has a way of mesmerizing the developers by its features.
- Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code is an open-source environment developed by Microsoft. It is based on Electron, a framework to deploy Node JS applications for the computer running on Blink browser engine. Premium features like Git built-in and interactive console makes it one of the most commendable IDEs for Python development. It also provides the room for customization to the developers as they find suitable through extensions.
Some More Features
- Although it is not cross-platform, the Electron framework allows the developer to work with VS Code on all platforms.
- You can debug your code directly from the editor.
- The keyboard shortcuts add propellers to the developers work.
- Smart code completion based on function definition, imported modules, as well as variable types saves the developer from mundane parts of the work.
Some cons of Visual Studio Code is that it has limited features for debugging. It also lacks built-in templates. Apart from these troughs, it has crests such that you’re going to be out of fingers if you count them which makes it one of the best Python IDEs in the market.
- Vim – Popular python IDE
Some developers are always tweaking and looking for a better setup for their development environment. Vim is one such modal editor that when you get used to once your tweaking days are gone. It comes pre-installed in MacOS and Linux systems but has to be downloaded in Windows computers. It takes some investment of time in learning Vim, but when your hands commemorate its keyboard shortcuts you can’t get enough of it and start claiming it as the best Python IDE. You can add plugins for syntax highlighting, code completion, debugging, refactoring, etc. to Vim and use it as a Python IDE.
Some More Features
- Ctags for better tag navigation.
- Built-in basic word completion.
- Scripts that come in handy to perform numerous programming tasks in Python.
Many developers complain about Vim’s interface being uncoordinated as if a kid designed it and find it inconvenient to use. But the keyboard shortcuts and smart completion make it one of the best Python IDEs out there.
- IDLE – Another Python IDE
IDLE or Integrated Development and Learning Environment is the default editor that comes with Python. It is most common amongst the students as it helps a beginner to learn Python easily. Thus, It is one of the best Python IDEs to start development with. It is easy to work with and supports different platforms. It is also referred to as a disposable IDE because it helps users learn the basics before moving to more refined tools. It has an interactive interpreter with colourizing of input, output, and error messages. Its major features include the Python shell window(interactive interpreter), auto-completion, syntax highlighting, smart indentation, and a basic integrated debugger. So, if you’re starting with your development IDLE is the most suitable IDE for Python Development for beginners.
Python is the is the language you think about when someone talks about applications using machine learning or artificial intelligence. There are some IDEs for Python development that you can use if you’re interested in ML/AI such as Atom, Spyder, JuPyter, etc. Other IDEs for Python that are unpopular but among one of the best Python IDEs are Eric Python, Eclipse+PyDev, Pyzo, PyScripter, etc.
Now that you know about the picks you got when it comes to IDEs for Python development, all you have to do is find which IDE resonates with you and get coding.