In my progression from utter novice programmer to whatever stage you might say I’m at now, I’ve tried several editors. So far my favorite editor is Komodo. Once I started using this software, those pesky newbie mistakes dropped away. Never again did I forget I closing parantheses or bracket. Every if statement ends in a colon and every try is matched with an except. Komodo keeps track of all of these and makes it impossible to miss when you’ve left them out. And the tab guides are indispensible when you are more than a few tabs deep in a loop inside a loop inside a try/except statement. The keyboard shortcuts for indent/outdent and comment/uncomment are life savers too. It’s also possible to wire up Komodo to read and help with predictive text with the Arcpy modules.
One of the very nice things I appreciate about Komodo is the ability to set the colors of your screen. I use the Obsidian color scheme, which is my favorte and I know is a popular one in other editors. With the dark charcoal background it’s so easy on the eyes and easy to differentiate your strings from your modules from your variables at a glance. Another great thing about Komodo is the user community at Kolormodo.com. If the Obsidian scheme isn’t your favorite, you’ve got 100 other choices to get you started.
While there is a free version of Komodo available, called Komodo Edit, I have migrated to the full version, called Komodo IDE, to use the debugging tools that allow me to step through my code, watching variables, and tracking down those errors that are logic related and not syntax related. Komodo IDE also allows me to have a window open where I can quickly copy and paste snippets of code to work out the logic and run directly from the Komodo environment. No more switching to Python IDLE to tap out snippets piece by piece as I test a new command.
Other editors I’ve used include Notepadd ++, Ultraedit, and several other free opensource programs. So far, I’m happy with Komodo. Using it took me to the next level of programming and allowed me to focus on logic instead of syntax.
What’s your favorite editor software? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.