tyler butler

PyCharm 3.0

JetBrains released version 3.0 of their excellent Python IDE a couple of weeks ago, and with it they made a free Community Edition available as well. I can’t say enough good things about PyCharm, so if you’ve been on the fence about it, it’s worth checking out the Community Edition. They’ve put together a nice edition comparison chart so you can see the core differences.

If you’re looking to do Django/Flask/Pyramid/Google App Engine development, you’ll likely want the Pro edition, but it’s still reasonably priced in my opinion (compare it to Xamarin, for example1) and speaking from experience, the Django support, at least, is very good. I haven’t checked out the Flask support yet, but xkcd2 would be a good testing ground.

If you want to see what a real project might look like in PyCharm, you can always clone Engineer. It’s been built using PyCharm since day one.

  1. Yes, I know it’s kind of an apples to oranges comparison given that they have different capabilities and target different languages, but they’re both IDEs… ↩︎

Axe Cop

What do you get when you combine a story written by a 5-year-old with animation done by his 29-year-old brother? If you answered, “Pure Awesome”, you are correct.

The Importance of Documentation

Some free advice for anyone writing software:

Providing excellent documentation is the single most important thing you can do to improve your project.

I’ve used the Python flavor of html5lib in a couple of different projects now (xkcd2 and Engineer) and there’s really one thing that stands out to me: it has absolutely horrendous documentation. Well, it’s really just that it has none to speak of, and to be fair, it could be worse… It could be voluminous yet misleading or poorly organized, but instead there just isn’t any.

Of course, it’d be understandable for you to think otherwise. If you visit the Github repo, you’re provided with some simple examples of creating a parser and parsing some documents. These examples are pretty standard fare – they give you a taste of what to expect but don’t give you enough to actually use the library.

You’re happily informed that “More documentation is available at http://html5lib.readthedocs.org/” but if you head over there you’ll notice that there isn’t really much more there. The “more documentation” they speak of is a single page with information about “the moving parts” which just doesn’t do much to help you know how to actually use the API to do anything really meaningful.

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A Python logging framework by Armin Ronacher (Jinja2, Flask, Werkzeug) and Georg Brandl (Sphinx, Pygments)? Here… take my money! Wait, it’s BSD licensed? Sign me up!