Eclipse IDE for Python developers

Eclipse IDE for Python developers

Eclipse IDE is a wonderful piece of free IDE software and Python is the language that makes many programmers very “excited” – so why not bring them together? Python is also a great programming language for new programmers. Eclipse IDE  added full functionality for Python developers through PyDev.

If you are already using Eclipse you can easily add PyDev as an add-on, or you have the option to download a version of Eclipse with PyDev already included.

Other options for newbie Python developers, probably among many others, include Raspbian (on the Raspberry Pi), PyCharm and Geany.

Installing Python

The desired version (2.x or 3.x) of Python can be grabbed from www.python.org. When in doubt, rather stick to all the default installation settings.

Installing PyDev for Eclipse and PyDev

PyDev is installed onto Eclipse the same way any other Eclipse add-on is installed. A working version of Python needs to be installed first.

  • In the Eclipse Workbench choose Help > Install New Software
  • Click on the Available Software Sites link and click on the Add… button.
  • For the name use any name (e.g. “PyDev”)
  • For the location use http://pydev.org/updates, then click OK and OK again to go back to the Install screen.
  • Under Work with: type “pydev” and select the first PyDev entry > Next
  • Click Next, Next, accept the license, Finish
  • If Eclipse asks whether to trust the PyDev certificate, agree.
  • When the install is complete, allow Eclipse to restart.

Setting up the Eclipse, Python Interpreter

After installing the required version of Python the following steps are to set up the Python interpreter in Eclipse:

  • Start > All Programs and search for the Python version installed
  • In the Python menu directory, right click on ‘Python (command line)’ when using version 2.x or ‘Python’ when using version 3.x, and select Properties
  • In the Shortcut tab, copy the target directory line (Right click, copy).
  • In the Eclipse Workbench, choose Window > Preferences
  • Click on PyDev > Interpreters > Python Interpreter
  • In the top box, click on New… and copy the target directory from the Start Menu to the Interpreter Executable field
  • Make sure the line ends with python.exe, give it a name (i.e. Python x) and press OK, then OK again.

Create a project

To create a new Python project:

  • File > New > Project
  • In the Wizard, click on Pydev to expand it, select Pydev Project and click Next.
  • Give the project a name.
  • Make sure the grammar version matches the installed version of Python and the Interpreter is the one just set up.
  • If asked to include the Pydev Perspective, say yes.

After creating a Pydev project, the PyDev Package Explorer will be available in the Eclipse Perspectives area (top right corner of the Eclipse Workbench). To start working in a Pydev project, make sure to be in this perspective (by clicking on the perspective icon).

Hello, world

To test Eclipse’s new Python environment, get started with “Hello, World”. Right click on your Pydev Project > New > File, and name the file hello.py.

For Python 2.0 use:

#!/usr/bin/python

print "Hello, World!"

and for Python 3.x use:

#!/usr/bin/python3

print("Hello, World!")

Save the file and click on run (the green play triangle sign). Choose Python Run. If all is in order the result should show in the Eclipse Console (on the bottom of the screen).

About the author
Renier busies himself with improving his English writing, creative web design and his websites, photoshopping, micro-electronics, multiple genres of music, superhero movies and badass series.
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