Python and Visual Studio

I posted this a while back on twitter but someone asked me about it this morning and I thought I’d share it here on the blog.  The Visual Studio Blog has and article out on Why write Python in Visual Studio? which is worth reading for everyone writing Python on Windows.

Recently, Visual Studio 2015 was released with support for Python. Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) are available to help throughout Visual Studio in all the places you’d expect, from editing and IntelliSense, to debugging, profiling, and publishing to Azure. You can find all the details and some video walkthroughs, documentation, and other resources on visualstudio.com, and the post announcing Python Tools 2.1 and Python Tools 2.2 beta.

The post is a great read into the choices the Visual Studio team made on how to integrate IntelliSense with Python.  Honestly when VS 2015 came out I’ve started using it for all Python development on Windows and when I switch over to my Mac I really miss the features.  GIS users have embraced Python and having a real IDE to help them is a huge plus.  In the past I’ve avoided IDEs where I didn’t need them but with Python projects getting larger and more important, it really makes sense to organize them better.

JavaScript instead of Python

As a long time Mac user I’ve used AppleScript to automate many work flows. Now AppleScript is pretty powerful but it unique (Well I’ve always thought it was like HyperTalk but that’s pretty unique too).

Well Apple is looking at allowing JavaScript to be used for automation instead of AppleScript with the next version of Mac OS X Yosemite.  So I mused on Twitter this morning:

Now let’s be honest, GIS and Python have a huge love affair going right now.  But I really think despite all of JavaScript’s “issues” (as everyone continues to point out it has floating point error issues) there are some great workarounds.   JavaScript being used both on the server and front end of applications seems so simple and logical that Python becomes almost niche like FORTRAN was in the 1990s.

I’m not sure I would tell anyone in GIS not to learn Python because it is critically important to day and most likely will be for years.  Just that you should be putting as much time into JavaScript at Python and be ready for the jump really soon.  You’ll be talking about Python in a couple years like I do about Perl.