JetBrains has released PyCharm 3.0, an update to its integrated development environment for Python, in two versions - a paid-for Professional Edition and a free Community Edition.
According to JetBrains its to do with the ways in which Python differs from other languages:
Thanks to its non-proprietary nature, Python is generally preferred by the open source community. The language is widely used for scientific computing as well. As we are committed to supporting these communities, providing an advanced development tool for free such as PyCharm makes total sense. But more importantly, Python is becoming the de facto language of choice for teaching programming to beginners. With the price tag removed, those who start learning programming with Python today will have an immediate access to an intelligent IDE, which can guide them through their tasks, point out their mistakes, teach good practices, and generally make them better developers.
So PyCharm Community Edition, which has "the essential functionality" of the IDE - syntax highlighting, code completion, error recognition, code search and more - is suitable for beginners and, JetBrains considers, will also come handy to those who use Python for lightweight coding or scripting tasks.
Meanwhile those who who use Python in production settings and need support for other frameworks and toolkits including Django, Flask, Google App Engine will need the Professional Edition, which offers a free 30-day trial.
Among the new features in PyCharm 3.0 restricted to the Professional Edition are:
- Duplicate code detection tool
- SQLAlchemy support
- Pyramid and Web2py support
This video gives an overview of new features in Version 3.0 for existing users of PyCharm:
If you aren't an existing user and want to know about PyCharm's main features this earlier video provides an overview:
Python is a language that really needs an easy to use IDE if only because it is increasingly used to teach people to program. Let's hope that the MOOCs that make use of Python start to use PyCharm and let's hope that the idea of a community edition is successful enough for JetBrains to want to extend it to their other languages.