IDLE vs. geany

This is a very good blog-posting and i fully agree with it:

Idle is really only useful to teach the first steps of python. As soon as leaving the interactive mode, i force students to use a different editor than idle, mostly geany.

Geany is not trouble-free. Here is some things that are not good with geany, but still better than using Idle:

  • Starting python programs out of geany never worked out-of-the-box for me under the windows OS. While teaching, i always use Linux but some students use Windows at home so it’s not ideal.
  • Geany is not written in Python.
  • Geny has bad code-completion when compared with Idle.
  • Something like:
    import random as r

    (waiting for a yellow drop-down list of commands of the random module)
    never worked as good as it worked with idle.

  • Geany force me to click on the “replace tabs with spaces” menu item or i get python indentation errors

On the other hands, Geany does most things right out of the box:
Line numbers, pretty code navigation panel, color chooser to get rgb codes, font size changing with mouse wheel, to name just a few.

Until i find a better solution i will stay with Geany. I wish it would be shipped together with python and run out-of-the box on every major OS.

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About Horst JENS

teaching open source game programming to kids
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