Python is one of the most popular programming languages in the entire world. It is used widely in various domains such as software development, machine learning, artificial intelligence, data science, etc. In this article, we will discuss some of the best Python IDEs that are available to programmers.
What is an IDE?
The term IDE is an acronym for Integrated Development Environment. It is software that helps us write code efficiently by providing various tools like source code editor, debugger, plugins, and others.
An IDE should have the following features:
- Inbuilt Compiler- The IDE should be capable of executing program files without the need for any other software.
- Syntax Highlighting and Automatic code completion- The IDE should provide features for syntax highlighting and code completion to make the software development process efficient.
- Auto saving of code- The IDE should save the code when closed and reload it when the IDE is reopened.
- Debugging- The IDE must provide tools for debugging the programs.
In python, we also have various IDEs that provide us with various features that are helpful in writing and executing various software, machine learning, and data science projects. Let us discuss the features of some of the best Python IDEs.
Best Python IDEs in 2022
Following is a list of the best Python IDEs that provide various tools and are popular as well.
PyCharm is one of the most used Python IDEs. It is a cross-platform IDE mostly used by experienced python developers. PyCharm was developed by JetBrains. It provides productivity tools like quick fixes, data management, and auto code completion along with a good development environment that supports test-driven development.
PyCharm is available in three versions namely educational version, community version, and professional version. You can use the educational version and community version completely free as they are open-source. If you are a beginner and want to learn python in an efficient manner, you can use the PyCharm IDE to start with python programming.
Following are some of the features of PyCharm IDE
- It provides a customizable interface that increases productivity while coding.
- It provides a very smart mechanism for error detection, quick fixing, and auto-code completion.
- PyCharm supports cross-platform development. So, you can work on systems with different operating systems without the need to configure the development environment each time.
- In my opinion, The only drawback for PyCharm is that it has a very sluggish loading time.
Spyder IDE was developed by Pierre Raybaut in 2008. It is completely open-source software and also supports cross-platform development. Spyder is known among python developers as a scientific python development IDE. This is due to the reason that it is mostly used by data scientists who work on different modules such as NumPy, Pandas, SciPy, Matplotlib, etc. Being lightweight, it runs efficiently even while working with various dependencies.
Following are the main features of the Spyder IDE:
- Spyder provides a powerful debugger with which we can trace every step of code execution.
- It is very useful in searching and removing bottlenecks from the code so that we can unchain the code presentation.
- It permits us to execute the code line by line. We can select any code and then run it to observe the changes.
Atom IDE is another lightweight python IDE. It is also open-source and cross-platform. Atom is established on the Electron platform developed by GitHub. It is an extremely customizable IDE and assists the users to write code in an efficient manner by providing flexible and smart code navigation and automatic code formatting. It also allows support for third-party packages.
The most prominent features of the Atom IDE are:
- It is simple to use and allows user interface customization for a better experience.
- It is supported and maintained by GitHub.
- It has a drawback that it consumes more time to sort plugins and configurations. Also, tabs are clumsy, and using multiple tabs at once reduces the performance.
Eclipse IDE is one of the most used IDEs by Java developers. However, we can use it to develop software in C++, PHP, Python, and other programming languages by installing proper plugins. We can install the PyDev plugin to develop python programs using the Eclipse IDE.
PyDev is an independent, free Python IDE that provides progressive interfaces and functionalities for code analysis and code completion. Eclipse PyDev is a stable platform and it provides decent functionalities for maintaining python projects in its entire project cycle.
Following are some of the prominent features of the Eclipse PyDev IDE.
- PyDev provides string syntax highlighting, code completion, and code folding features with auto-import of the modules used in the python program.
- It also supports the integration of various frameworks like Unittest, PyLint, and Django.
- PyDev also allows users to communicate probing in suspended mode.
- The major drawback of using PyDev is that the development environment becomes unstable due to the instability of plugins and it may cause errors in the software. Also, the performance of PyDev decreases rapidly with the increasing size of the software program.
Sublime Text was developed by Jon Skinner. It is a cross-platform python IDE developed using Python and C++. Sublime Text provides a rapid development environment and you can modify the configurations according to your requirement to make the IDE more suitable for your task.
It is one of the best freely available IDEs and you can customize it to include packages for auto-completion, debugging, and code formatting.
Following are the main features of the Sublime Text IDE:
- It has a multi-language editor and it provides support for multiple programming languages.
- Sublime Text provides functionalities for a wide range of customization for the configuration of platform-specific and project-specific settings.
- It has a dominant cross-platform user interface toolkit that enhances the user experience.
- The major drawback while using Sublime Text is that you have to configure the settings yourself. So, if you are just starting to learn to code, it might be intimidating to you. Also, Sublime Text doesn’t have any strong GIT plugin.
In this article, we have discussed different features of an IDE and some of the best Python IDEs that you can use in 2022 for software development and other programming tasks. If you are a beginner, I would suggest you use the PyCharm IDE or the Spyder IDE as they are the easiest to configure and provide various support tools for an easy development experience.
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