A Beginner’s Guide to Python Development Tools

Welcome to an exciting journey of becoming a great Python developer. Python is such a compelling language to learn and master these days. It is an already prevalent tool for data science and machine learning, and current stats show it is going in the right direction.

Every good developer needs good tools to perform well. Likewise, Python developers need great Python development tools to be ahead of the competition and be at the edge of creativity. Having great tools and the right mindset will save you time and effort. 

Why can Python alone not be your ticket to success?

First and foremost, we should acknowledge that no single language is helpful in all software problems. For example, in almost all code libraries, some code is written in assembly language to give it exceptional speed. Similarly, many python libraries are already in C, which means that we already use many languages in our code base. We have to add more languages to our portfolio to be proficient in development.

Embarcadero’s Delphi can be a natural choice for all python developers. It is straightforward, easy, compliments, and adds power to your skills.

What additional Python development tools can you use?

Python Development Tools. Picture of a ruler, calipers and a pocket calculator

If every Python developer has the same Python codebase you have, then what is your edge? To be ahead of the competition, you should provide more value to your users. To add more coding power to your Python development, you need some excellent Python complements that can quickly enhance your reach, productivity, and performance without a steep learning curve or moving to a different language altogether. Fortunately, now we have many great Python complements available. So let us examine the best of the best tools available.

1. What is Python4Delphi?

Python for Delphi (P4D) is a free component suite to bridge Python and Delphi. It allows you to execute Python code in Delphi and enable Python to use Delphi code and objects. It also makes it trivial to use Python as a scripting language in Delphi. It has a plethora of demos and tutorials to get you going. Visit Embarcadero’s Python4Delphi page for more information. 

2. What is Delphi4Python?

Delphi for Python (D4P) is a set of free Python modules to bring Delphi’s award-winning VCL and Firemonkey(FMX) GUI building libraries to Python developers. With this tool, you have all the Delphi code available for your Python development, and you can use Delphi’s Fast and Rich GUI tools right inside Python. Read Jim McKeeth’s introductory article about Delphi4Python for more information. 

How many Python development tools are available?

Python Development Tools. A lady looking frustrated at not know what Python tools are available

A plethora of Python development tools is available in the market. Unfortunately, this overwhelming choice confuses new developers. Therefore, we have analyzed all available alternatives and compiled the results into 5+1 cohesive and logical categories, so you can quickly choose the best python development tool according to your needs.

1. Python’s Default IDE

IDLE (Integrated Development and Learning Environment) is the default editor installed with Python. It is handy for the occasional editing of minimal scripts but lacks the professional features of a full-blown IDE. Also, sticking with it will not provide us with any edge, so we must find a better alternative. 

2. IDEs for Python Learning

Interactive IDEs like Jupyter Notebook and many other REPLs (Read Evaluate Print Loop) are suitable for quick execution and learning. But almost no one is doing professional work in these IDEs due to many overheads.

3. Python plain text editors

Text editors are tools used by expert developers needing occasional changes in many kinds of code. Examples are Vim, GNU Emacs, Notepad, Notepad++, and UltraEdit. UltraEdit by Idera is the market leader in this category. If you have a good know-how of these tools and Python, or you need to edit many languages, you can use these tools. But if you are new, these tools are not that useful for you, and you still need a full-blown Python IDE.

4. Non-Python IDEs

These are famous IDEs for non-Python languages like C, C++, Java, HTML, etc. These tools add Python support through some plugins or extensions. Examples might be Eclipse(Pydev Plugin), VS Code, Emacs plugin, Atom, Sublime text, etc. These tools are excellent for those developers who do their significant work in other languages and are already comfortable with these editors. However, using these non-Python IDEs might be an overkill and add extra complication for newbie Python developers.

5. Dedicated Python IDEs

These are full-blown dedicated Python IDEs. Currently, only PyCharm and PyScripter IDEs can be added to this category with a proven track record and extensive feature set. We will compare these two in detail, but let us first look at our last but most exciting Python IDE category.

6. Build your own Python editor

An exciting option is to build your own Python editor. It is only interesting if we can do it quickly and easily, and fortunately, it is now possible. For example, a Delphi developer can now build (actually montage) a Python editor in less than 5 minutes. Take a look at this Python for Delphi Developers video. Although it is not as powerful as the market leader, this is beneficial in many scenarios. For example:

  1. This gives you total control over the development process, and you can customize and automate many features in this way and quickly react to different code snippets
  2. This allows you to pass on Python scripting capabilities to your application users so that they can custom code python scripts for additional functionalities. This powerful option will put you ahead of the competition in speed, features, and support. 

PyScripter vs PyCharm

Python Development Tools. Some chess pieces. Looks like black is winning since the king is the only thing standing.

Now let us compare our two shortlisted dedicated Python IDEs, PyCharm, and PyScripter.

PyCharm is an excellent IDE for Python, but when compared to PyScripter, we can see many problems with Pycharm like:

  1. PyCharm’s free version has limited or no support for Plugins, Themes, Customization, Package control, and Developer tools, to name a few.
  2. For full functionality of PyCharm, you need a commercial version (Currently $199.00/Year)
  3. The commercial version of PyCharm is not open source.
  4. PyCharm’s typical installation size is 360MB+.
  5. PyCharm is slow due to its large memory footprint.
  6. PyCharm source code is a mix of many languages (Java + Apache Groovy + Kotlin + Python)
  7. PyCharm relatively new entrant (2010)
  8. Features are overkill and confusing for new Python developers.

PyScripter has an ultimate edge because:

  1. PyScripter is Free, and you will have all the features available for free.
  2. There is no commercial version of PyScripter.
  3. PyScripter is open-source, and complete source code is available to all developers for learning, changing, and improving.
  4. PyScripter’s typical installation size is 13MB
  5. Blazingly fast native windows executable with a low memory footprint
  6. PyScripter source code is in Delphi.
  7. PyScripter is one of the oldest (2007) Python IDEs in service, with millions of downloads.
  8. PyScripter is easy to use for newbies and has all the features an expert developer might expect

The above list is only a brief comparison, but there are many more salient features. For example, PyScripter has a Logical file display (like all HTML files or image files). In addition, PyScripter can Auto-generate documentation, has great debugging support, extended support of themes and color scheme, etc. Other than this, there is a too-long list of PyScripter features. See the complete list of PyScripter Features.

Want to start your python development journey now?

want-to-start-your-python-Python Development Tools. Two sprinters crouched ready for the start signal

PyScripter is now sponsored by an organization considered a pioneer in IDE and RAD tools and that currently owns many top editors and IDE tools like UltraEdit, Delphi, C++ Builder, RAD Studio, and many more developer-related tools. PyScripter is the ultimate choice for a beginner Python developer from the above comprehensive list. Download your copy of the best Python development tool now.

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