Monday, April 29, 2013

spyderlib split

[UPDATE 2013-06-03] Spyderlib-2.2.0 has been released and all of the issues mentioned in this post have been resolved! How's that for support! Thanks spyderlib team for being so quick and responsive!

In addition, pdb debugging is now integrated into Spyder with a swank breakpoints window and debug toolbar with standard step, step-in, return & continue buttons. Either it's always been there and I just haven't noticed, or it is something new. So nice! This really makes Spyder a top notch IDE for python and a serious rival to PyDev.

Spyder is the IDE that comes packaged with Python (x, y), and for a community lead project it is a very impressive achievement. For those migrating from MATLAB, they will appreciate the variable explorer, the built in command window, directory and project browser and help.

If only the debugger was better, but it does link to winpdb, which will be more familiar to most MATLAB users than pdb CLI variants. (And now in Spyderlib-2.2.0, it is; see 2013-06-03 update!)

The trouble is that it consistently has little annoying bugs, which in some cases I think are really show stoppers unfortunately. So I recommend that if you are going to rely on Spyder, download the Python (x, y) distribution or the new Enthought Canopy distribution, because they are tested and frozen at releases that are reliable. (True there have been some bugs, but the responsiveness of the Spyderlib developers is fast and courteous. All of my issues have been addressed, and the release cycle is blazingly fast! And so sorry, but Enthought Canopy is **not** free for x64, but Syderlib-2.2.0 has a installer for Windows x64.)

The latest version of Spyder is 2.1.13.1 and like the version before it, there are at least 2 bugs, which intermittantly effect Windows users. The first is the userconfig.py, which will crash the program as soon as it is started, rendering Spyder useless. The fix is simple, apply the patch in comment #7 from issue 1086. The other bug that is not as bad only affects if you try to start Spyder from a BASH console like msysgit Git Bash  or MSYS. For some bizarre reason the shebang for the Spyder script is the WinPython binary, instead of the traditional:
    #! /usr/bin/env python
So just change it to the traditional python shebang and you can now use the script to start spyder from bash.

See updates above. Both these bugs (issue 1086, 1242 &1331) have been resolved in Spyderlib-2.2.0!

Also if you want to use git in Spyder, then apply this patch too, although all it does is start either gitk or git-gui, which is fine and actually better than nothing. (The patch is unnecessary! Just add
C:\Program Files (x86)\Git\cmd\ on Windows x64
or
C:\Program Files\Git\cmd\ on Windows x86
and gitk or git-gui will open from Spyder just fine! The msysgit developers have placed native win32 versions of gitk and git-gui in this folder. Thanks!)
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