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Name: [002] Ian Ozsvald
Member: 128 months
Authored: 181 videos
Description: I am the co-founder of ShowMeDo (see, author of `The Screencasting Handbook <>`_ and the founder of the professional screencast production company `ProCasts <>`_: .. image:: ...

Starting a Python project with PyDev [ID:140] (6/10)

in series: Python Development on XP

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PyDev is a powerful and free development environment for Python. It extends the Eclipse platform and runs on any reasonably-powerful modern computer (it is more heavy-weight than IDLE). This first episode (of three) shows you how to start a new project inside PyDev

I show you how to start a PyDev project (including the location of files on the hard-drive), create a new source file ( and find that file via the command line so that you can run the script at the DOS prompt. We go on to use Ctrl-F11 to 'Run Last Launched' and to run the code with debugging support (I go on to use the debugger in two episodes time). By the end of the video you will be comfortable writing and running your own scripts inside PyDev.

In this video I use Eclipse 3.2 and PyDev 1.2.5. The author of PyDev (Fabio Zadrozny) has created two PyDev videos which will give you further information about starting with PyDev (don't forget to comment a word of Thanks for Fabio over at his set!).

To talk to your fellow Pythonistas you should join the ShowMeDo Learners Google Group.

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  • Published: Sometime before 1st March 2007 (in other words - we don't remember!)

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Thanks. Is Eclipse with PyDev what you use most of the time? I use both Windows and Linux and I have just been using gvim on both and the shell to run. Have used IDLE some also. I'm getting ready to start on a new project, and thought it would be a good time to try something new.

Good into; was able to extrapolate updates to features. Would be nice to show how to configure PyDev to use installed Python.

Before finding ShowMeDo, I had installed python2.6

pyDev seems to work fine with python2.6, except I cannot seem to install psyco.

Except for having to live with the psyco not running warning each time I run the debugger, is there any reason why I should install python2.5?

Review of Starting a Python project with PyDev

Video is hopelessly out of date. Absolutely nothing in the tutorial matches current software. I've downloaded older versions of Eclipse hoping to find the same version that you were using; no luck. Wasted hours.

You gloss over way too many configuration details. Simply referring to other Web sites for information is not teaching. Why not just print out some text of Web site to visit?

Due to my own perseverance I finally got Eclipse to work but I learned absolutely nothing from this video.

I haven't yet tried this Pydev, need to do it soon before I turn demented with IDLE.

This screencast is an excellent introduction to eclipse and pydev and perfectly aimed to get you up and running and ready for programming in no time.

Pydev is really awesome and now thanks to Ian and showmedo I look forward to using this great IDE.

Hi OLI. I hadn't heard of EasyEclipse before :-) A quick look at the page suggests that it looks nice.

We'd welcome a video or two that shows how it is used if someone wants to have a go?


Great as ever! Any opinion about EasyEclipse for Python?


Vincent - first comment - great, glad you found them useful :-)

Second comment - yes, Eclipse is indeed a bit of a tricky one to start with. Great for developers to just unzip, but it does assume you can problem-solve (and it kind of assumes you're familiar with cross-platform development and how different OSs do things).

Great to hear that you soldiered through your problems and that you've shared your newly-won knowledge. I've been playing with PyDev and Eclipse for 5 years so I rather skim over a lot of these points - it is important to share things from your side as that's the same way that other newbies will see it.

Great stuff!


At Ian's request, I've moved my further comments over here from the forum.

While I have a Win XP box, and I know the title says this course is for newbies on XP, I prefer to work on my Suse Linux 10.2 box, and it was not obvious to me at first that Eclipse or Pydev would work on Linux. The websites did not seem to highlight the platform requirements either. In hindsight, the answer seems obvious--they are Java apps that will run on any system that has a suitable Java Virtual Machine. I think beginners need to be told this prominently up front, though.

Even though Pydev is called an extension, it did not penetrate my brain immediately that you install it through the Eclipse menu (the way you install Firefox extensions), so I spent some time looking around the web for installation files.

Even under Windows XP I had a few puzzled moments. Eclipse does not seem to have a normal Windows installation process. It doesn't find an appropriate place for itself on the hard drive, make entries to the registry, or create menu entries and shortcuts for itself. You just extract its files to the the folder where you want it (making sure you don't put it in a path that has spaces in it, for example, the normal Windows "Program Files" directory!) and you make your own shortcuts and menu entries pointing to the eclipse.exe file. This might be a bit much for a real newbie to figure out without some more hand holding than we get in this lesson.

Under Linux, I pretty quickly discovered that the Yast installer offered Eclipse from one of the Suse Linux 10.2 repositories, but didn't see any entries for the Pydev extension. At this point, I hadn't yet figured out that, in effect, Eclipse is the package manager for Pydev, so I thought about giving up. When I got Eclipse installed (which Yast did flawlessly, configuring KDE properly and making a menu entry under Development>Integrated Environment), I was unable to install Pydev from within Eclipse. Eclipse kept saying that the two Pydev extensions needed other things that it couldn't seem to find. So, I went back to Yast and installed everything that mentioned Eclipse. No luck. Tried installing older version of Pydev. Still no luck. Gave up and went to bed. This morning, it worked like a charm. I'm guessing a server may have been temporarily unavailable, but don't really know.

After the installation, I noticed that Eclipse had a few small interface changes since the video was made. I didn't have any real problems with them, but they might spook someone even more timid and ignorant than I. If you decide to re-record, I suggest splitting the lesson in two and making the first one just about platforms and installation.

All that being said, this is the first time I feel good about starting to use an IDE, and I look forward to finishing the course.

Jerol got it just right. The two main problems with using an ide when you start language are:

1. You have to spend a lot of time choosing, finding, installing, configuring, and learning the ide before you can do anything. All the while, you're wondering whether it's all a big waste of time, and sometimes it is!

2. The ide can obscure what it's actually doing at the OS and command line level.

This video solves both these major problems with flying colors. It leads you through the most difficult parts of #1, and it solves #2 by using a command window to show you what is going on at the file level.

I did have a few difficulties with this lesson, mostly with getting everything installed on both computers that I use most often.

I have posted those comments in the forum.

So good to hear that you find the PyDev intros to be helpful. Neat as well that ShowMeDo is an anti-narcoleptic :-)


Again. Very good. I am following this series closely.

Now I am equiped with the Eclipse and Pydev. I am eager to see what's next...

Great job! Interesting enough that I don't even want to sleep. :)

If you are new to programming in Python, you have many options. They all have their own advantages and disadvantages. There is the separate editor and interpreter approach favored by hardcore coders. At other end of the scale is the complete integrated environment: Visual Studio, Wing, Eclipse, etc. Eclipse is probably the most popular IDE for Java coders. PyDev is the Python version of Eclipse. IDE's can make life a lot easier for a beginning programmer (that's why Visual Basic became so popular). On the other hand, you can face a big bump right at the beginning of the learning curve, just getting started with the most basic tasks. That's why Ian's introduction is so useful: you can see how it works with a minimum investment of time. Check it out, along with SPE, IDLE, Wing and several others.

Showmedo is a peer-produced video-tutorials and screencasts site for free and open-source software (FOSS)- with the exception of some club videos, the large majority are free to watch and download.

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Educating the Open-source Community With Showmedo

Although as important as the software it supports, education and documentation are relatively neglected in the Open-source world. Coders love to code, and explaining how best to use or improve the software tends to be deferred or even sidelined.

At Showmedo we believe the community can play a vital role here and also say thanks for the tools and software that make our lives easier. If you have a piece of software you love or a programming langugage you are enthusiastic about, why not make a screencast showing others how to use it? All the stuff you wish you'd been told, the tips, tricks, insights that would have saved you time and frustration.

Screencasting is easier than you think, and we're happy to help you. You can emailus for advice or just use some of the how-to screencasts on the site. This screencasting learning-pathis a good place to start.

Kudos and Thanks for Ian

3 Minute Oveview (What Does Python Look Like?)

simple and informative. you draw me in
70 months ago


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