Mind Bending

PyCon 2011 occurred on March 9th thought 17th in Atlanta, Georgia, and covered many interesting topics. The nice thing about PyCon is that all the lectures are available in this channel.


There were some really nice lectures that I’d like to highlight. The first one is about Python IDEs and the lecture title was "Python IDEs Panel".

For many developers, IDEs are an essential tool-just as essential as source code control. The growth of Python in recent years has led to a number of projects and vendors developing Python-specific or Python-supporting IDEs. (…) This panel includes representatives from a number of Python-specific or Python-supporting IDE vendors, showing the ways that IDEs can speed up development on any platform.


One of the most interesting parts of th lecture is the questions. Specially when one the attendees ask about the possibility that vendors drop the IDE development. The best answer comes from the EMACS guy: "EMACS is free software and we’re not going anywhere". Many have asked, "where’s PyDev", and I ask, "Where the hell is VIM?!".

Below are some comments about the presented IDEs:

Visual Studio

No surprises with Visual Studio, I didn’t expected much from it, just a regular IDE. As any other Microsoft product it comes in many "flavors": Professional with MSDN Essetials, Professional with MSDN, Premium, Ultimate and Test Professional. Also it is a really expensive IDE: with a minimum price of $799.00 and a maximum of $11,899.00.

Wing IDE

Wing IDE seems to be really powerful, and offers VI, emacs and other key bindings. It’s license can be bought here, and can vary from $45.00 to $245.00 per user. General Use version ($45.00) omit some features. The "full featured" version for non-commercial use can be bought for $95.00. Wingware also provide free Wing IDE licenses for certain type of uses like "Classroom Use" and "Non-Commercial Open Source Use", apply here. For testing purposes you can also get a tial version here.

Komodo IDE

Komodo IDE is a great tool, I’ve already used and strongly recommends but is a little expensive: $295.00. Active state also offers a "less powerful" but free version, Komodo Edit. For the curious one, There is a trial version of Komodo IDE


PyCharm really impressed me. I’ve heard about it many times, but have never seen it in action. PyCharm has a plugin that emulates VIm key bindings, so I’m really tempted to apply for a free PyCharm license. Like Wingware they are giving free licenses for OpenSource projects and for academic students/institutions, take a look here. Also PyCharm has one of the cheapest license, Academic License for $29.00, but need to be approved. If you’re not sure about the academic license the personal license is $99.00 and the Commercial License is $199.00.


Well can I say about EMACS? It’s EMACS in all it’s glory. But I’m really disappointed about the emacs presentation. Like VIM, you can’t show it’s power in only 10 minutes.



Graduated in Telecommunication Engineering, but currently working with GNU/Linux infrastructure and in the spare time I'm an Open Source programmer (Python and C), a drawer and author in the Mind Bending Blog.


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