Evaluating IDEs for scientific Python

xcorr: comp neuro

TL;DR: use Spyder if you want an IDE with Matlab-like features, or ipython notebook if you want to do literate programming.

Python is a general purpose scripting language that can be used for statistical analysis, numeric work, machine learning, and so much more. With packages like SciPy, matplotlib, Scikit, pandas, and TensorFlow, it’s miles ahead of Matlab, which until a few years was the reference environment for signal processing and machine learning.

Of course, Matlab is more than its scripting language; it’s an integrated development environment (IDE) which combines editing, execution, plotting, debugging, etc. If you’re thinking of migrating away from Matlab, or are fluent in R and use RStudio, perhaps you’d prefer working with an IDE.

Here I evaluate 4 IDEs for scientific Python on my Ubuntu 11.10 PC to see how they stack up to an IDE like Matlab:

  • IEP 3.2
  • Spyder 2.2
  • PyDev 2.7 + ipython
  • Enthought Canopy…

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