Linux User & Developer - - Review -

An ap­proach­able and fea­ture-rich IDE that has a sparse ap­pear­ance

Cod­ing es­sen­tials

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.

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