What are Python IDEs?
Python Integrated Development Environment (IDEs) are the software that provides python developers with a bundle of tools in a single environment rather than installing separate packages of python for different functionalities like auto-code completion, syntax highlighting, code coloring, easy navigation, etc. These IDEs are used to work with the application-specific platforms and thus remove the obstacles that come while developing the software. Python IDE helps in making web pages, apps, new software, etc.
Why do We Need IDEs for Python?
IDE plays an important role in the smooth development phase regardless of what language you prefer for your projects. If we talk about Python, it already comes with basic tools, and a text editor to get started but unfortunately, it will not help create your applications with ease. This is where IDE comes in. It provides you with a wide range of features to enhance your coding, debugging, and testing experience. IDEs have become so intelligent that they have simplified the way you write your code. You don’t need to perform repetitive and time-consuming tasks on your own. There is a wide range of IDEs available for the Python programming language, some of them are free to use so you can start using it as a beginner, and become handy to use the enhanced and paid versions that are helpful while working on the larger projects. The more intelligence they have, the less work you need on the code.
Top 10 Python IDE
It is one of the popular cross-platform Python IDEs compatible with Windows, Linus, and macOS. It provides a productive python environment to the developers. It provides you with smart navigation and fast code refactoring. Currently, it is available in three versions: Apache-licensed Community version (free version), Educational (Edu) version (free version), and proprietary Professional version (paid version).
- You can directly access the database from the IDE.
- It provides you with large and active community support.
- It has a customizable interface which makes it more user-friendly.
- It comes up with plugins that help to improve your project.
- The paid version of the IDE is expensive as compared to other IDEs.
- The loading time is slow.
- It requires more space as compared to other IDEs.
- It is not recommendable for beginners because the virtual environment setup is complicated.
Vim stands for Vi IMproved, which is a free open-source IDE pre-installed in Linux and macOS. It is based on the Vi editor. It is highly configurable and the developers admire it due to its keyboard shortcuts and good performance quality. It also supports non-programming applications. Vim has three modes: insert mode, command mode, and command-line mode. You can easily perform complex text related tasks with just a few commands.
- It provides you with a vibrant plugin environment that helps you to enhance your code to a large extent.
- In addition to python, it provides good support for other programming languages.
- It supports multiple tabs which allows it to work on multiple files. It also supports multiple buffers.
- It gives a powerful integration functionality.
- It has its scripting language.
- It is difficult to learn as a beginner.
- It requires high efforts for customization.
It is another popular open-source IDE used as a powerful scientific environment by developers. This tool comes with the Anaconda distribution that is widely used for data science projects. You can easily trace each step of your python code with Spyder. Some basic features are auto-completion of code, integration with a wide range of python libraries, syntax highlighting, and many more.
- It provides you with additional plugins that help to improve your code.
- It allows you to plot various charts on your data.
- It has good community support.
- It has a strong debugger that allows developers to track their code and find errors easily.
- Adding too many plugins at once may degrade its performance.
- It is suitable for the Python language only.
- It is not recommendable for collaborative work.
IDLE stands for Integrated Development and Learning Environment is a text editor you get after installing Python on your system. It is a simple and easy-to-use editor preferable for beginners in Python language. The basic features of IDLE are syntax highlighting, interactive interpreter, smart indentation, code coloring, and compatibility with Windows, Linux, and macOS.
- You can easily create and modify python scripts.
- It has a friendly graphical interface.
- It is easily configurable
- The debugger has a breakpoint feature that allows developers to efficiently debug their code.
- It does not have a line numbering feature, therefore it becomes difficult for developers to track their code.
- It allows only basic debugging of code.
- It does not have data science-specific notebooks.
Sublime Text 3
This editor allows you to have a fully-fledged python working environment. It is a cross-platform IDE that supports various programming languages other than Python. It gives built-in support to Python and also has various packages for scientific development, Flask, Django, etc. It is highly customizable and reliable. The IDE has a built-in plugin for code linters. It shows you mistakes you’ve made in your source before you attempt to run the code. Additionally, you can use the following key combinations to ease your journey with this IDE.
Ctrl + r: to list down all the methods in larger files.
Ctrl + p: to switch between the files.
Ctrl + shift + p: allows you to call package commands, handle Sublime projects, change file syntax, and so much more.
Ctrl + shift + f AND alt + enter: to find a word in files and then select them all.
- It has a high performance with a powerful API.
- It allows opening large files easily.
- It comes with code coloring and syntax definitions, therefore making code highly readable.
- Effective and accurate auto code completion.
- The feature of comparing the files automatically is hard to use.
- It does not have a powerful GIT plugin.
- You require a license to explore and use its main functionalities.
Visual Studio code
This is a free and open-source text editor created by Microsoft that is compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS. It is a lightweight tool that comes up with several enhanced features like code completion, extensions addon, syntax highlighting, unit testing, debugger, etc. It is highly customizable therefore provides developers a user-friendly interface.
- It comes up with GIT integration.
- It can detect if any snippet of your python code is left incomplete.
- The common python variable syntaxes and variable declarations are made automatically.
- It has a multi-window split and auto-save functionality.
- You can easily prototype individual components and later roll them up into a larger component.
- It supports multiple languages.
- It is sometimes hard to change settings in VS code.
- In some cases, it may require high CPU usage, which sometimes freezes the system.
- Searching in VS code is slow.
It is an open-source code editor. It has a fully customizable interface which makes it user-friendly. Atom has a built-in file system browser and package manager. The developers call it a “hackable text editor”. Atom allows users to install third-party packages and themes so that you can customize the features and looks of the editor and set it up according to your preferences. You can effortlessly work with R and Python for your data science projects.
- You can write your scripts in a faster and smarter way due to the auto-completion feature.
- It has good customer support from Github teams.
- It allows project collaboration for developers and other teams.
- You can handle a larger amount of data easily.
- Extensive consumption of RAM.
- Sometimes you may face stability issues.
- Git integration is complicated to set up.
This is one of the widely used code editors for writing and implementing machine learning and data science code. Along with code, it also contains rich text elements like links, equations, etc. It supports multi programming languages. You can easily perform numerical calculations using Jupyter. It allows you to run and edit your code notebooks in your browser. Additionally, it allows you to easily navigate throughout the code by adding breakpoints to your code.
- It is very easy to use.
- It provides you with integrated machine learning libraries.
- Easy conversion of notebooks to PDFs.
- Server hosting is easy with Jupyter notebooks.
- You cannot integrate third-party applications.
- It has no IDE integration support.
- It has less security.
PyDev is another preferred IDE for Python development. It is a third-party plugin of eclipse with a strong python interpreter. It uses advanced techniques for code analysis and code completion. Apart from this, some basic features of PyDev are debugging, syntax highlighting, multi-language support, smart indentation, and a good outline view.
- You can easily configure Django Integration.
- It provides good support for web development in Python.
- It is easy to learn.
- Additionally, it also supports Mypy, black formatter, and virtual environments.
- The plugins may become unstable which could affect the development.
- The user interface is not very attractive.
- For big applications, performance may degrade.
Thonny is a popular python based IDE preferable for beginners that comes with excellent features to learn python programming. This IDE is ideal for learning and teaching python. It allows developers to see how their code and shell commands influence the Python variables. You can use its simple debugger with F5, F6, and F7 function keys for analyzing your code. Some of the basic features are syntax error highlighting, code completion, step through expression evaluation, etc.
- Simple to use and user-friendly GUI.
- It does not have high memory usage.
- It provides you with a detailed view of the python variables.
- There is a lack of support for templates.
- The software is not preferable for experienced developers.
- A quick fix for some issues is not available.
In this blog, we discussed several Python IDEs and their effective usage. The selection of the IDE depends on various factors like the field in which you are working (Data Science, web development, or scripting), the team size, collaboration requirement, the scale of your business, and pre-requisite knowledge of using python as a programming language. Each test editor has its own features, none of them is perfect. It is preferable to have professional advice in choosing the editor for a better programming experience.
- What is the best IDE to run Python?
There is no best IDE, each has its own pros and cons as discussed above. One can make a selection among them based on their requirements and experience. Some good IDEs among the ones listed above are PyCharm, Atom, IDLE, and Jupyter.
2. Is IDE mandatory for Python?
If you need to have great programming experience then working as an IDE is preferable. It enables you to easily code your projects with the help of their built-in features and user-friendly interface. So it’s a good practice to use IDE for coding in python or any other language.
- Is PyCharm good for machine learning?
No doubt, Pycharm is a great tool that can be used for machine learning. It is adopted by many big tech giants for their ML projects due to the support it provides for various ML libraries like NumPy, matplotlib, pandas, etc.
- What is the most common Python IDE?
Jupyter is a common python IDE preferable for Machine learning in Python and apart from that Atom and PyCharm are the commonly used python code editors.