Python is a powerful, easy to use, general-purpose programming language, loved by most programmers to develop web applications, data science, software prototypes, etc. Being a widely used interpreted object-oriented high-level programming language, a wide stream of licensed and open-source Python IDEs and code editors are available in the market supporting its dynamic semantics.
IDE vs Code Editors
IDE, Integrated Development Environment is a software suite designed to simplify and speed up the developer’s job to code, build, test, and debug. It is a single interface with many features such as a text editor, a compiler and/or interpreter, a debugger and code profiler, version control integration, and an endless list of supporting utilities and plugins to interface with external tools like cloud deployments, docket, etc. Thus, IDE is a complex tool to be used during the entire process of software development.
In contrast, a code editor is a simple text editor tool used to write and edit code with additional features like syntax highlighting and code formatting. They are very lightweight with handpicked plugins and tools to customize your software development experience.
How to pick a Python IDE or code editor that solves your purpose
For a developer coding large programs and need to test and debug code, Python IDEs are preferred. For Non-beginners, beginners, and developers looking for quick, lightweight, fast text editors to learn and perform tasks like web pages and documentation, code editors are preferred.
In order to choose the best Python IDE or code editor, one needs to understand or decide on the below factors:
- Purpose of usage
- Platforms or environments being used
- Size of the task
- Open Source or Licensed
Then we need to be aware of the best Python IDEs and code editors most commonly used in the market. There are plenty of online-offline resources available which details their features and pros and cons. We shall hence have a quick snapshot of their names, to facilitate further easy analysis on which tool to catch up.
The Most used and Best Python IDEs and code editors
Having understood the what, why, where about Python IDEs and code editors, let us have a quick glance through a list of the best Python IDEs and code editors most commonly used.
Best Python IDEs
The best Python IDE is PyCharm (my favorite) which has two versions i.e. community version which is good for scientific development and fully featured professional paid version good for professional developers. Spyder and Thonny are open-source lightweight IDES suited for scientific fields and Python learners.
Other general IDEs with Python support are Eclipse + PyDev + LiClipse, an open-source, and Visual Studio.
Best Code Editors:
Sublime Text is a licensed powerful API ensuring easy customization with a free trial for evaluation. Visual Studio Code is a free opensource complete code editor developed by Microsoft with premium features and extensions. Other open sources like VI/Vim, Atom, Jupyter Notebook, GNU Emacs, Thonny, Online Compiler from Programiz is popular code editors are popular in the market.
Last but not least, if you want to learn more about Python IDEs and text editor, please see the Youtube video below: