Today I’m giving a demo of the Thonny Python IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to my Computer Studies students. I recently learned about this editor from a post someone sent to the ACSE mail list.
Its claim to fame is that it can start as a simple editor with just an editing window and a shell, as shown here:
…but then as you start getting comfortable programming you can turn on additional view options, as shown here:
The debugger seems very easy to use, and I really like how easy it is to show the variable values as the program is run; the object inspector, which should give students an incredible insight into what functions are available to them as they code; and code completion which can be accessed by tapping the key.
The download site doesn’t say that the program runs portably (i.e., off a USB key) but so far my tests indicate that it does. This would clearly benefit classes where you don’t have the ability to install programs. (I have made a portable copy of it available here if anyone is interested.)
If you want to explore Thonny further, visit http://thonny.org/.
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