Re: Python education survey
- From: Eelco <hoogendoorn.eelco@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2011 03:41:54 -0800 (PST)
On Dec 27, 6:59 am, Carl Smith <carl.in...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Dec 20, 10:58 am, Andrea Crotti <andrea.crott...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On 12/20/2011 03:51 AM, Raymond Hettinger wrote:
Do you use IDLE when teaching Python?
If not, what is the tool of choice?
Students may not be experienced with the command-line and may be
running Windows, Linux, or Macs. Ideally, the tool or IDE will be
easy to install and configure (startup directory, path, associated
with a particular version of Python etc).
Though an Emacs user myself, I've been teaching with IDLE because it's
free; it runs on multiple OSes, it has tooltips and code colorization
and easy indent/dedent/comment/uncomment commands, it has tab
completion; it allows easy editing at the interactive prompt; it has
an easy run-script command (F5); it has direct access to source code
(File OpenModule) and a class browser (Cntl+B).
On the downside, some python distros aren't built with the requisite
Tcl/Tk support; some distros like the Mac OS ship with a broken Tcl/Tk
so users have to install a fix to that as well; and IDLE sometimes
just freezes for no reason. It also doesn't have an easy way to
specify the startup directory.
If your goal is to quickly get new users up and running in Python,
what IDE or editor do you recommend?
I think ipython and a good editor gives a much nicer experience
than IDLE, which I actually almost never used, and
for everything else there is python and python-mode.
New users however can be pointed to something like PyCharm
or Eclipse+PyDev if they are more familiar to IDEs..
I agree; IPython is a excellent choice. You have a much more powerful
interactive Python experience, with all the features you need from an
IDE. You can use any editor (VIM) and you can also readily hack
IPython to death.
I think the fact that anyone with basic programming skills can
substantially enhance their console is a big winner in CS education.
It gives students something they personally value to work on, it's a
place to store all their little bits of code and actually benefit from
them in real life.
I've never met a programmer that got familiar with IPython and then
went on to stop using it. It should be included in the standard
library and used as the default Python interactive environment.
The last line of my .bashrc file:
Youve got one here. I like IPython a lot, but it quite rarely enters
into my workflow.
While I agree that a good interactive python console is a good way to
get your feet wet with programming, I also strongly feel that a more
comprehensive programming environment should be introduced to
students. That includes opening and editing files, syntax
highlighting, and code completion. And painless installation. There
are no lightweight editors that provide all this functionality in
conjuction with Ipython*. So I prefer to work the other way around;
use something like pycharm, and open an IPython interactive session
*Your suggestion of VIM is especially objectionable. Though I am sure
it is a great tool to you, the subject here is beginner education.
Just because it is a good tool for you, does not make it a good tool
for a beginner.
IPython bundled with a lightweight but function-rich and non-hacker-
but-WYSIWYG editor would be a great choice. But until that comes
around, pycharm it is for me.
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