Friday, September 21, 2007

September Cambridge Python Podcasts and Slides, Wing IDE 3.0 and Development

(Cambridge Python Interest Group, September Meetup)

Stephan Deibel and John Ehresman, the owners Wingware and developers of Wing IDE, gave a talk on the latest version of Wing and it's Development. Wing IDE is arguably the most advanced python development IDE in existence. The talk consisted of two parts, a detailed demo of the new Wing 3.0, and a very open discussion about running a business and the development of Wing.

The Demo
We were not able to get video of the demo, but if you would like to see the previous version of the software there is a screencast instructional video which I highly recommend. Stephan and John use Wing to develop Wing, and as such are just as hungry for any features which will streamline and take the pain out of development. There were many key features covered in detail during the demo two of which deserve special mention.

1. The Probe Debugger
Wing comes with a debugger which at first looks like every other introspective debugger on the market. What you might overlook is the python shell prompt which has the local context of what ever breakpoint, or stack level you currently have selected. You can inspect, evaluate, and change the values of the selected scope in this shell! clicking up or down the stack will immediately switch the context of the shell. So will moving to the next breakpoint. There was no lag or waiting. Oh, and the shell has auto completion local to it's context.

2. Unit Test Integration
New in 3.0, WingIDE is python unit test aware. you can run tests from the ide with the press of a button. Individual tests failures and output are all integrated. Expanding the test tree, you can see which tests failed and where. You can select a failure, have the code come up, set a breakpoint, and then re-run only that single test failure, and have it come up in the debugger. This combined with the probe debugger will change the way you think about your projects.

Developing Wing
Stephan and John were very open and frank about their experiences starting a company, and developing a product which some people view more as a religion than a tool. In the second half of the talk they discuss the development process, open source, multi-threading verses asynchronous, developing for multiple platforms, and listening to the users.

Podcasts and Slides
I arrived late to the talk, and rushed to get the sound equipment set up. As a result I forgot to turn on the amplifier. I have attempted to boost the gain on the files, but they are still very soft. There is a fair amount of line noise due to this, and many of the audience questions are lost, but Stephan (who was wearing the microphone) can be heard clearly.

(Sorry we do not yet have ogg versions)
  • Cambridge Python Meetup, Sept 19th - Wing IDE 3.0 (mp3, ogg)
  • Cambridge Python Meetup, Sept 19th - Wingware Development (mp3, ogg)
  • Cambridge Python Meetup, Sept 19th - Wingware- Slides (tar, online)

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