On the search for the perfect Python IDE

Since I started to program with my beloved Python, I was using Eclipse and Pydev for that. It’s doing is job fairly well, nevertheless I’m somewhat unhappy about it’s screen usage. Somehow I have the impression, that the Eclipse developers are all proud owners of some one squaremeter huge screens and want to show everyone with a smaller screen, who has the bigger penis. That’s why I had written this bugreport a while ago, when I was trying out the latest Eclipse version, which even made the situation worse.

So even if the developers basically agreed to the issue, there doesn’t seem to happen a lot to improve the situation, so I started looking around for other IDEs. Requirements:

  • Editor with the usual gimmicks, syntax highlighting, automatic indentation etc.
  • Useful code completion
  • Git integration
  • Efficient code navigation and file browsing
  • Better screen usage then Eclipse
  • Some maturity, i.e. no obvious annoying bugs

Most of the programs from this list can be scratched instantly, as they are just somewhat pimped editors, but no IDEs. They don’t actually understand what you’re programming, so they lack features like the lovely ctrl-click in Eclipse, to quickly go to the definition of a symbol. So what would be left as an option is probably NetBeans, WingIDE, PyCharm and Komodo. After I read a recommendation, I gave Ninja-IDE a quick try, but this only falls into the pimped-editor category.

WingIDE was looking quite promising. Trying it out actually even ended up in some nice email conversation with the WingIDE support about suggested improvements, bugs, and things I hadn’t found at first when trying it out. Git integration is quite nice and the code completion and navigation works well. In general it made the impression of having all essential and necessary things without being a bit bloated like Eclipse, providing lots of stuff, that you actually never use. Unfortunately, it currently wastes nearly as much space as Eclipse. Ubuntu menu proxy is not yet used, there is a quite useless bar at the bottom, which can’t be hidden, and the file navigation bar could also need some improvements to be more useful. Some more control about shutting down the program, sending keyboard interrupt or SIGTERM to the running process, would be nice. Anyways, I’m quite looking forward for the upcoming version 5. They promised, that most of the mentioned issues will be addressed until then.