Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Spyder (A really nice python IDE)

I've started using Spyder recently and I really like it.

The features I enjoy the most are
  • Quick response. PyCharm is great but has a tendency to freeze up on me. It' my fault - I have a lot of applications open at the same time and I switch between them. PyCharm has a lot of useful stuff going on beneath the hood, so there are many processes that swap in and out when I switch, but I relish the speed of Spyder now.
  • There is a Mac .dmg which I can just download and install
  • What I really like is the ability to patch into a running Ipython kernel and run code from inside the IDE
  • I can just fire up a new file and code right away without having to create a project etc etc. But I can still make files parts of projects if I want.
The things I miss (and PyCharm does really well):
  • There is no git integration (and the creators say they won't do it). I completely understand this decision and it's not a problem, but PyCharm has the git integration down SO well, it's hard to do without. 
  • PyCharm will analyze your code to the extent that it will give you hints to keyword arguments for your functions. I LOVE this. I NEED this. Spyder will display the function help, which is OK.
  • PyCharm will auto complete functions defined in the current context. I have come to rely on this to speed up my coding. Spyder makes you type out the whole function name (though it will do dot completion)
  •  PyCharm will analyze imports from your libraries and auto complete on that, Spyder does not.
Spyder is also rough around the edges - the user interface will freeze sometimes in unpredictable ways, so some work is needed there.

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