An approachable and feature-rich IDE that has a sparse appearance
It has pretty much everything a beginner would need. Code completion works well and syntax highlighting is good. Its debugging mode is pretty special and steps through the code so you can look into how expressions are evaluated. Function calls are displayed within a new window, with a separate local variables table and code pointer.
Because of its goal, don’t expect the same conveniences from Thonny as with other IDEs. Thonny can highlight variable occurrences to help users avoid typos and also distinguishes local variables from global ones. When you write object-oriented code, you can select objects in the Heap or Variables window and use the Object Inspector to check their type and attributes.
According to its developer, Thonny has a simple infrastructure for fleshing the editor with plug-ins. Currently there’s also one plug-in that adds support for BBC micro:bit to the IDE. Thonny also has a graphical interface to Python’s pip package manager that enables you to install additional Python packages and libraries.
This is one area where Thonny trumps the rest. It’s very easy to install and there’s absolutely no learning curve involved in using the IDE.
You can fire up Thonny and start punching out code, irrespective of your skill level. The IDE has a simple menu structure with limited options and you can add new views to the interface in line with your experience and the requirements of your code.
By far one of the most approachable IDEs that will help you hone your Python skills. Its set of features is aligned with its goal of tutoring Python learners and its debugger deserves a mention.
Thonny stands out from the others with its smattering of buttons and a mere handful of menus, but plug-ins are on hand if you need them.