Posts from November 2011.

The Things I Hate About IDLE That I Wish Someone Would Fix

I’ve written a book on Python programming for kids and complete beginners. I’ve also done some classroom and one-on-one teaching with adults and teens. I have them use IDLE, the IDE that comes with Python, because it is simple and easier than having them set up some other IDE (like PyDev on Eclipse).

But over time I’ve noticed a lot of problems with IDLE that I wish someone would fix. (I’d like to do it myself but I don’t have the time currently.) I’m very, very grateful that Python comes batteries included vis-à-vis an IDE, but there are a lot of warts and user interface issues with IDLE. (These are different from the bugs listed on the python.org bug tracker.)

First off, my philosophy is that no serious Python programmer uses IDLE as their dev environment. With that assumption, we can get rid of any need to cater to them and make IDLE aimed at people who are not only new to Python but new to programming in general. IDLE should be an education tool more than a development tool. This means that the IDLE default options should all be set for the basic user, not the power user.

With that in mind, these are things I’d like to see changed about the design of IDLE (roughly in order of importance and prior More... »