Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Focus for next releases

I've been thinking about on what's the next thing to focus on pydev, and I think it'll be in usability, aiming for those starting up with pydev for the first time...

Many say that Eclipse has a steep learning curve... If you're a first-timer, it may be true if you don't try to get some help (the tutorial at fabioz.com is something you really shouldn't skip if you're using pydev for the first time)... still, I think that the learning curve to master pydev (and Eclipse) is not as steep as for mastering vi or emacs...

Also, I've seen many people go from vi/emacs to pydev (extensions) and be more productive in a short time (like a month or two, which is not so much for users that used vi/emacs for more than 3-4 years).

Ok, I guess I deviated a little from the topic ;-)

So, the focus for the next releases will be on usability and getting python 2.5 on pydev.


Jonathan Ellis said...

One of the Ruby Eclipse plugins has a download where they ship a stripped-down Eclipse + their plugin. All the Java stuff is gone. Very newbie-friendly.

Anonymous said...

Could we have some basic support for Python Server Pages please? Just for Eclipse to recognise .psp endings and recognise the python parts of the document as python would be a huge help. Many thanks for some great software.

Fabio Zadrozny said...

Hi Luke,

Actually, adding support for Python Server Pages is kind of out of the scope for what I'm aiming right now...

Also, that would probably be a whole new plugin (that could build upon python and maybe mix with some already existing html editor) -- still, if there are enough people interested in this it could come true ;-)



Fabio Zadrozny said...

Hi Jonathan,

Yes, I think that distributing a stripped version would be a nice idea...



Anonymous said...

wel maybe EasyEclipse is also worth mentioning link
They may not include the latest version of everything, but it sure is easy, and above all: tested.

Kevin Menard said...

Since it sounds like you're pretty open for things this release, I'd like to call attention to the pretty print feature request again: http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=1423456&group_id=85796&atid=577332

From my vantage point, this is something that would really enhance the user experience. For projects with multiple developers using different editors, such a feature would be awesome.

Anonymous said...

I feel like more improvement could be made in code completion.

I can understand when code completion isn't possible. But there seem to be times when something that SHOULD be possible to figure out, isn't.

Occasionally, the code completion pleasantly surprises me with the depth of knowledge it exhibits about the code.

Other times I'm disappointed.

Maybe it's me, but it seems that the larger my project gets, and the larger my Python files get, the less code completion works.

There are times when code completion seems to know an object is of a certain class, but then it won't go look in that other class to continue the code completion, when it seems it should be able to.

It's quite possible my setup is wrong, but I get no errors in the error panel, I have followed the instructions... it's never clear to me how I would know if my setup is somehow incorrect.

Control-clicking is awesome for navigation, but I can't use it, because sometimes it locks up Eclipse for 20 seconds and then fails. If something locks up Eclipse for 20 seconds, I won't ever click it again.

Overall PyDev totally rocks, it makes it hard to write Python code without it. I am a C++ programmer and PyDev gives me some of the error checking that a compiler would, real-time, in-editor, so by the time I run my code there are no typos, etc.

But quite often I feel like PyDev isn't going as far as it could - again, I understand there are many cases where the type of an object is unclear, but there are also many cases where PyDev seems to work sometimes and not other times.

- Scott

Fabio Zadrozny said...


I agree that having a pretty printer is a nice feature -- and it is a pre-requisite for refactoring, so, it should be something that will be implemented, but I'm unsure if it will help new users to get used to pydev, so, it is currently not priority number 1 -- but it will surely be done...

I've already done some good steps to do it, as adding comments and other literals to the AST, and I have a 'very early' version, but still have not released because there are still a number of things that need to be addressed for that (and as it could ruin your code if not done correctly, that's something that needs to have special attention).



Fabio Zadrozny said...


1. Ctrl+Click is provided in the open source version through Bycicle Repair Man which is unsupported (the pydev extensions version should not have any of the issues you mentioned in this feature)...

2. Making your setup clear is one of the targets of making pydev easier for new users.

3. You should post the cases you feel pydev should cover as feature requests, so that those issues can be addressed, as I don't know which cases are you talking about...



Unknown said...

How is the pyDev - without - java project going? That sounded like a very useful project. Things are just a bit slower in the beginning when you don't know which of all the functionality is for java and which is for python.
Is there a howto for stripping down eclipse somewhere?

Fabio Zadrozny said...

Pydev already works without JDT (if that's what you mean).

You only need the basic Eclipse runtime (unless you want to develop using Jython -- for that you need JDT).