Freitag, 22. Februar 2008

The quest for a Python IDE - Back to good old emacs

Since I started using Python last year, I've been looking for a nice IDE that supports that language. When I was programming in Java, Netbeans made programming REAL fun. I was really missing such a powerful tool for Python.
Not that I haven't tried a few. First, there is jpydbg for netbeans. Or at least it seems to be, since I never managed to start a project with it. It has been written for jedit, and it does not really integrate into netbeans' look and feel, let alone it's usabilit concept.
Then there was Eric. It made a good impression, but unfortunately, it stopped working on my machine for some obscure error relating to QT4 libs not being found. This ain't Eric's fault, other Qt4 also won't work under my account.... I have no clue which config file causes confusion here. But still, I can't use it.
So I went on to Eclipse. As an e- netbeans user, I was quite reluctant to take that step, somehow it felt to me like switching from Linux to Windows again ;)... Nevertheless, I've been using it for about half a year now, but still haven't got comfortable with it. I'm sure it offers every tool a programmer might probably want at some point in his life, but I just haven't managed finding out how to open the toolbox... I couldn't even manage to update an SVN repo from the IDE! Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there is an easy way how to do this, but I just couldn't figure it out. And I don't want to spend my time digging through docs and forums and mailing lists when I really want to spend it programming. Especially if the solution to my problem is only an "svn update" away... on the command line.
And this was the point when I remembered my good old friend emacs. Long time back, when desktop envirenments under Unix still needed their diapers changed regularly, I used emacs for all programming related tasks. And how I liked it. And of course, today it comes with a python mode, with syntax highlighting and all bells and whistles. Who needs more?
Well, actually I need more... :) I want version control, refactoring tools, auto completion and quick navigation through large source trees. And naturally, emacs seems to offer it all. There's psvn.el for SVN. Navigation has always been the domain of Speedbar (M-x speedbar). For refactoring, there seems to be BicycleRepairMan. Haven't used it yet, but voices all over the web praise it. And finally, for auto-completion Pymacs claims to do the job. This will be the next thing to try for me.
So for now, I'm happy again with emacs!

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