Two posts (here and here) in programming.reddit.com discussed the state-of-the-art python IDEs. Two of them really arouse my interest: Komodo Edit and IronPython Studio which is honorably mentioned in the comment.
Komodo Edit is the shrunk-and-free version ActiveState’s flagship Komodo IDE. It is rooted in the same technology as Firefox, using XUL framework to render the UI, same Add-on mechanism to support 3rd-party package, and the UI is quite clean, eye-candy lacking in another term:
Furthermore, thanks to ActiveState’s generosity, there is an open source initiative openkomodo’s Snapdragon project to build a full-fledged IDE based upon the Komodo Edit’s code base. Though I suffer the huge memory footprint of Firefox from time to time, I still believe this is a much lightweight IDE compared to the versatile Eclipse.
Another option is IronPython Studio based upon award-winning Microsoft Visual Studio technology. Whether you like it or not, we have to admit that lots of programmers would feel at home when using familiar interface. However, strictly speaking it is not a python IDE, you are locked to IronPython, and most likely you could not resist the temptation to use .Net and WPF. And at the end of day, the ultimate question may emerge: “Why not use C#? The syntax is quite similar, and we are no longer treated as second-class developers.” I doubt that Silverlight may make a difference if you are not a Web developer.
The last but not the least question when I read through all the comments. I was quite amazed to find so few comments from the die-hard old school guys. Here is one comment about using Emacs and python mode, how about Vim users? Did they just disregard this kind of flame-prone discussion or already lost the faith to convince the other world?
So if you happened to be a heavy-weight Vim user and program with python, I would appreciate if you could drop a message here to share your experience.