Python is a popular programming language which was developed in 1991. Python as a programming language is principally used for software development, server-side web development, artificial intelligence, and scripting. The advantage of Python is that it works on various platforms such as Linux, Windows, Mac, Pi, Raspberry, etc. Firstly, let’s understand about an IDE before going ahead to know the top 10 Python IDEs.
What Is An Integrated Development Environment (IDE)?
IDE is a software package that consists of several tools for developing and testing the software. A software developer throughout the Software Development Lifecycle has to use many tools such as libraries, editors, compiling, and testing tools. An IDE helps the developer by automating the process. IDEs integrate many tools that are specially designed for SDLC. It will lessen the manual work by getting all the tools in one common framework. If there is no IDE, the developer has to manually take care of the entire Software Development Lifecycle process. In actual sense, IDEs were introduced to diminish the coding and typing errors.
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Features of Python IDEs
The two distinctive features of Python IDE are given below:
- It provides a plethora of shortcut editing functions that are language-specific.
- It is very user-friendly and fast in terms of functioning.
Requirements of A Good Python Coding Ecosystem
The requirement list can vary from one application to another. However, a core set of features that are mandatory for every coding environment are explained in the below image:
Top 10 Python IDEs
PyCharm was developed by Jet Brains and it is one of the widely used Python IDE which is fully featured. It is available in the paid version and as free open-source as well. PyCharm assists the developers to be more productive and provides smart suggestions. It saves ample time by taking care of routine tasks, thereby increases productivity.
- It has smart code navigation, good code editor, a function for quick refactoring’s.
- The integrated activities with PyCharm are profiling, testing, debugging, remote development, and deployments.
- It is well-integrated with Python console and IPython Notebook.
Pros: It is the smarter Python IDE with a great supportive community. It performs brilliantly for editing, debugging, and running.
Cons: It requires a bit of tweaking of default settings to match with your project activities. It might get slow while uploading a heavy amount of data.
Spyder has great recognition in the IDE market. It is the most suitable Python IDE for data science works. Spyder is also popular for Python development which is famously used for engineers and scientists to create a secure and scientific environment for Python. Spyder Python uses PYQT which a developer can add as an extension.
- It has good syntax highlighting and auto code completion features.
- Spyder Python explores and edits variables directly from GUI.
- It performs very well in multi-language editor and auto code completion mode.
- A developer can play around with the codes, he can either edit it line-by-line or do it at once in a cell.
- Spyder Python integrates strongly with IPython Console.
- The debugger is powerful in tracing every step of script execution.
- It offers good modifying functions, instant view options.
- It gives additional plugin options to improve functionality.
- When a developer wants to disable a specific warning, Spyder is not capable enough to configure that particular one.
- If a developer has too many plugins, the performance of Spyder seems to have compromised.
PyDev is an external plugin for Eclipse. It is also mainly used for Python development and its very popular in the market as Python interpreter. PyDev emphases on debugging in the graphical pattern, Python code refactoring, code analysis, etc. From the developer’s point of view, PyDev is more flexible to use since they get extra features as PyDev is a plugin for Eclipse.
- PyDev has strong parameters like refactoring, debugging, type hinting, code analysis, and code coverage function.
- PyDev supports tokens browser, PyLint integration, interactive console, remote debugger, Unittest integration, etc.
- PyDev also supports virtual environments, Mypy, analyzing f-strings, and black formatter.
- It offers robust syntax highlighting, code folding, parser errors, and good support for multiple languages.
- It offers strong support for Jython, Django, CPython, and Iron Python.
- It allows collaborative probing in a suspended mode.
- There are many issues seen during the application development phase since the PyDev plugins become unstable.
- If there are multiple plugins, the performance of PyDev gets reduced.
IDLE is a basic IDE primarily used by beginner level developer who is seeking practice of Python development.
- IDLE Python is a cross-platform IDE, hence it increases the flexibility for users.
- It is developed only in Python in collaboration with Tkinter GUI toolkit.
- The feature of multi-window text editor in IDLE has some great functions like smart indentation, call tips, Python colorizing, and undo option.
- It also comes with a strong debugger along with continuous breakpoints, local spaces, and global view.
- It supports browsers, editable configurations, and dialog boxes.
- Like other IDEs, IDLE Python also has syntax highlighting, smart indentation, and auto code completion.
- It supports Python shell along with a highlighter.
- To increase the performance of developers, IDLE Python provides a debugger with call stack visibility.
- There are come copying issues from the dashboard and it lacks focus.
- There is no option for numbering lines in the IDLE Python interface.
Wing is a dominant IDE is today’s market with good features for Python development. It has a 30-day trial version for developers to know the features.
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- Wing is quite customizable and can have extensions as well.
- It supports remote development, test-driven development along unit test, Django test framework, and pytest.
- Wing moves the code with go-to-definition, identifies the symbol’s in the application, has a source browser, edits the symbol index, effectively shows the multiple-file search, provides line editing and also has auto code completion.
- If the trial version is expiring, Wing gives 10 minutes of time to the user to switch to another interface.
- The source browser shows all the variables of the script.
- Wing has an extra exception handling tab for code debugging.
- It does not support the dark themes.
- The trial version is quite intimidating for beginners and the commercial version is expensive.
6. Eric Python
Eric Python is an editor which is basically developed in Python itself. It can be used non-professional and professional activities. It has been designed on cross-platform QT toolkit integrated with flexible Scintilla editor. It also has plugins and extensions for IDE functionalities.
- Eric offers configurable window layout, editors, call tips, source code folding, error highlighter, search functions with advanced features.
- It has a class browser, advanced project management capability, source code, version control, and cooperation functions.
- It also has an in-built debugger, code coverage, profiling, and task management support.
- It strongly supports web browsers.
- Eric has a spell check library to tackle errors.
- It has many wizards for QT dialogs and regex.
- It has certain tools for screening QT forms and translations.
- The GUI is not simple.
- The Eric installation procedure is troublesome.
- The productivity and performance of Eric seems to be decreased with too many plugins.
Rodeo is the most used IDE for data science projects. It’s best used for taking information from multiple sources and plotting the same to tackle the issues. Rodeo supports cross-platform.
- It has all the features required for machine learning and data science tasks.
- It allows good functions like compare data, interact, plot, and inspect data.
- It has code auto-completion, syntax highlighter, IPython, visual file navigator, etc.
- The size of Rodeo is less, and it is very much customizable.
- The last tab includes all the supporting documentation for a better understanding.
- It updates the latest version automatically.
- It needs maintenance.
- The also lags service support from the company.
Thonny is another IDE best suitable for beginners in Python development. It is good for a virtual environment. It has all basic and simple features for beginners to learn easily.
- It has a simple debugger, with F5, F6, and F7 keys.
- It supports highlighting errors, good representation of function calls, and auto code completion.
- The graphical interface is simple and clear.
- It is a user-friendly IDE for beginners.
- It takes care of issues with the help of other Python interpreters.
- It explains the scope by highlighting the spots.
- It is limited to text editing.
- It lacks template support.
- Plugin creation is slow.
9. Jupyter Notebook
Jupyter Notebook was born from IPython in the year 2014. Jupyter Notebook is another such IDE specifically used for data science environment. It is an application based on a server-client structure. It enables you to create and edit notebooks.
- It supports markdowns, enables you to add HTML codes from images to videos.
- It allows easy creation of codes and easy editing.
- It is an ideal one for beginners in data science.
- You can utilize data visualization libraries such as Seaborn and Matplotlib to show the graphs in the same document where the code lies.
- You can export the final work in multiple formats.
- It is limited to data science domain.
10. Visual Studio
It is built by Microsoft and is a fully featured IDE. It enables development for various platforms. It has its own marketplace for extensions.
- It supports Python coding in Visual Studio, debugging, and other activities.
- It has both paid and free versions in the market with great features.
- Installing Visual Studio will be easy and quick if you already have Python Visual Studio for other development activities.
- Downloading Visual Studio will be big just for Python development.
- There is no option for Visual Studio download for Linux platform.
Which Python IDE is Right for You?
You can consider the following suggestions before choosing the best Python IDE for yourself:
- Beginners should look for simple and easy to learn IDE like IDLE and Thonny.
- Beginners in data science should consider Jupyter Notebook for their learning purposes.
- New developers must try IDEs that come with good customization options like Wing and Rodeo.
- If you are using text editors already, then you must look for an Ide that comes with great ode editor solutions.
The industry leaders of Python IDEs, their best features, pros, and cons are all covered in the blog. Large scale enterprises have handsome financial support and manpower too. So, they generally prefer the paid versions of IDEs like PyCharm, Wing, etc. They prefer paid versions in order to get extensive service support from the company. However, small scale enterprises look for open source tools that cover the maximum features. Some of such IDEs are Spyder, IDEL, PyDev, ERIC Python, and Visual Studio.
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