EasyEclipse + Vimplugin for Python Development

Up until now, I’ve always used the terminal for programming development on my projects. Because I’m so familiar with the advanced text editor vim, I can get a lot done on the command line, and it doesn’t detract away from what is actually going on behind the scenes, as a lot of IDEs seem to do.

However, in reading the book Foundations of Agile Python Development (which I recommend highly), and through working in software houses using IDEs only, I’ve come to realise that I need to gain at least some familiarity with an IDE.

So I’ve decided to try out Eclipse. I fiddled around with the Eclipse version in the Ubuntu 8.10 repositories for a while, with little success. I wanted to install pydev and vimplugin. Pydev is an eclipse python development environment. Vimplugin allows vim keybindings, and can actually embed the gvim editor within Eclipse. I tried for a few hours, but couldn’t get it all working with the stock Eclipse version in the Ubuntu repositories.

So I thought I’d try out EasyEclipse. EasyEclipse bundles a stable version of Eclipse with pydev in its “Easy Eclipse for Python Development” distribution, and that worked a charm. I then installed vimplugin which worked immediately when enabled, and supported embedded VIM mode within Eclipse. In the screenshot below, you should be able to (just about!) see what I mean, gvim is embedded into Eclipse: