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What programmer tools (editors) are used/suggested to get started w/python, etc?

As a beginner, I'd like to learn a little bit about the code, etc., for askbot.

I was a basic, pascal, & shell programmer many, MANY years ago ;) I might like to learn and contribute to askbot if I can get myself up to speed with the language and tools.

I will be working on a Windows Vista laptop, and Win 7 desktop, if that matters.

Any reason I can't set up linux, python, etc., on my win box and test out the script before launching a site? What package(s) would you use to do this in the most expeditious manner?

Actually, I think maybe I'd bet better off with a host and simply doing the editing, etc., from my pc than trying to 'do it all' from home. A small hosting fee is no problem. I'd like recommendation for a USA host that'll let me start cheap (VPS) and has capabilities to scale me up to ded machine when needed.

Any advice is appreciated!


Brett's avatar
updated 2011-09-07 01:22:49 -0500, asked 2011-09-07 01:21:47 -0500
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1 Answer


Hi Bret.

For windows there some pretty good editors, easy to use. Take your time to try them and customize them to your needs.

Also there are some IDEs but I would not recommend you :-)

The setup for a windows environment is described here also be sure to install all the windows packages requirements for askbot (virtualenv, python-pip, your database driver) some of that is documented on the">oficial django documentation.

There are plenty material to learn python/django online to learn python use this book and for django there are some books but a good start is to read the official documentation online.

For cheap VPS service you can use VPS link or Lowendbox

I hope that it helps!

Fitoria's avatar
answered 2011-09-07 07:40:33 -0500
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I'd add - of the python tools - use virtual environment (virtualenv) and pylint. The first helps you isolate requirements per-project - so you won't have to worry about breaking something by installing some library. Pylint gives good recommendations about the code and helps catch errors early.

Evgeny's avatar Evgeny (2011-09-07 08:03:45 -0500) edit

Another good tool is pdb - python debugger. Insert two lines anywhere in your code: import pdb and pdb.set_trace() and you drop into a debugger shell that allows you to step through the code.

Evgeny's avatar Evgeny (2011-09-07 08:06:04 -0500) edit

Use pip to install and uninstall python packages, also pick up some source code management tool. Askbot uses git.

Evgeny's avatar Evgeny (2011-09-07 08:40:46 -0500) edit

Thanks @Fitoria for all the great info! I should note that I'm not afraid of an IDE; I like the features of an IDE which make editing code much easier. I tried notepad++ and like it but I do like features such as auto indenting, etc., which simple editors dont seem to have (from what I understand). @Evgeny I think I prefer an IDE which includes pylint be default/extension. There are so many editor/IDE choices, it is a bit overwhelming for a newbie ;) I'm leaning towards pyscripter: -What do you think of this one?

Brett's avatar Brett (2011-09-07 16:05:36 -0500) edit

@Brett I can only speak for myself, I use vim. The problem with ide's is that you will start depending on them, I hear people who use IDE exclusively say that they feel helpless when working in a plain text editor, but you occasionally have to do that - especially when administering remote servers. I've seen many very good programmers work in vim or emacs, so IDEs being the good tools they are - are not required to write the code.

Evgeny's avatar Evgeny (2011-09-07 16:13:09 -0500) edit
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