IDLE in action under Windows: text editor with syntax highlight and interactive shell
|Original author(s)||Guido van Rossum|
|Initial release||22 December 1998|
|Stable release||Part of each CPython release|
|Type||Integrated development environment|
IDLE is an integrated development environment for Python, which has been bundled with the default implementation of the language since 1.5.2b1. It is packaged as an optional part of the Python packaging with many Linux distributions. It is completely written in Python and the Tkinter GUI toolkit (wrapper functions for Tcl/Tk).
According to the included README, its main features are:
- Multi-window text editor with syntax highlighting, autocompletion, smart indent and other.
- Python shell with syntax highlighting.
- Integrated debugger with stepping, persistent breakpoints, and call stack visibility.
In November 2011, IDLE was criticized for various usability issues, including losing focus, lack of copying to clipboard feature, lack of line numbering options, and general user interface design; it has been called a "disposable" IDE.
IDLE stands for "Integrated DeveLopment Environment" as named by Guido van Rossum. Python is also said to be named after the British comedy group Monty Python. Therefore, the name IDLE can be seen as an allusion to Eric Idle, one of the group’s founding members.
See also 
- Subject: IDLE 0.1 -- a Python IDE, By Guido van Rossum - 16 Nov 1998 - comp.lang.python, At the conference I mentioned a few times that I was working on a Tkinter-based IDE for Python. I've decided to use the paradigm "release early and often" for this piece of software (especially since I don't expect I'll have much time to work on it), so version 0.1 (essentially a dump of my directory) is now sitting in the contrib directory ftp.python.org.
- IDLE 0.1 was distributed with the Python 1.5.2b1 release on 12/22/98., From: \Python-1.5.2\Tools\idle\NEWS.txt
- Sweigart AL. (2011) The Things I Hate About IDLE That I Wish Someone Would Fix. The Invent With Python Blog.
- Subject: IDLE 0.2 -- Integrated DeveLopment Environment for Python, From: Guido van Rossum, Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 17:35:25 GMT
- Primer on Installing Python and VPython, Author: M. Haley
- Lutz, Mark & Ascher, David (2004). Learning Python, p. 40. O'Reilly Media, Inc. ISBN 0-596-00281-5.
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