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Other IDEs

Because IDLE is free, portable, and a standard part of Python, it’s a nice first development tool to become familiar with if you want to use an IDE at all. Again, I recommend that you use IDLE for this book’s exercises if you’re just starting out, unless you are already familiar with and prefer a command-line-based development mode. There are, however, a handful of alternative IDEs for Python developers, some of which are substantially more powerful and robust than IDLE. Here are some of the most commonly used IDEs:

Eclipse and PyDev

Eclipse is an advanced open source IDE GUI. Originally developed as a Java IDE, Eclipse also supports Python development when you install the PyDev (or a similar) plug-in. Eclipse is a popular and powerful option for Python development, and it goes well beyond IDLE’s feature set. It includes support for code completion, syntax highlighting, syntax analysis, refactoring, debugging, and more. Its downsides are that it is a large system to install and may require shareware extensions for some features (this may vary over time). Still, when you are ready to graduate from IDLE, the Eclipse/PyDev combination is worth your attention.


  

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