Posts Tagged ‘Visual Studio’

D520 – Week Six

Chapter 6 of IronPython in Action covers “properties, dialogs, and Visual Studio”.  This seemed an obvious place to insert the material on user-interface design that is normally covered in the course, and to look a bit more deeply than the textbook does at Visual Studio itself (and the Windows Forms controls and their properties).  I only scheduled a single week to cover this, but I suspected that it might take more than one (I left an empty slot in the schedule to cover one such over-run), and that was, indeed, the case.  The students received notes [PDF], slightly longer this week (covering the UI design material not in the textbook, as well as the usual chapter summary, key points, and examples, and the steps required to install IronPython support in the ‘Experimental Hive’ Visual Studio SDK), and a fairly simple lab exercise [PDF]. Continue reading

Choosing an IronPython editor for teaching

The Northtec D520 “Programming” course is changing to IronPython (from Visual Basic) this year, so I have to figure out what editor/IDE the students should use.  In some ways, Visual Studio would be ideal, since they need to get exposed to that during the course (and it’s an excellent IDE, with a really great form designer), but since there isn’t any real IronPython support in Visual Studio (hopefully coming in 2010), it’s not really a viable option.  Instead, they’ll start with a simpler editor, and then briefly learn how to use Visual Studio’s form designer and subclass the forms in IronPython (as described in IronPython in Action).

The requirements here are a bit different than when selecting an editor/IDE for actual development work.  Firstly, it needs to be free (at least for educational use), and it needs to be reasonably simple to use the basic functionality (since these are first-year students).  Code-completion isn’t necessary (on the one hand, it helps them out while they are learning – on the other, they rely a little too much on it), nor is a built-in debugger, or support for complex projects.

I considered seven different editors/IDEs – there are a couple of others, but they either seemed too young (e.g. IronPython IDE, IronEditor), or inappropriate for other reasons (e.g. ZeusEdit is not free, I can’t stand Eclipse.  UPDATE: I decided to try Eclipse and Netbeans after all).

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