As you can see from Soma’s blog on Monday we released Python Tools for Visual Studio 1.0. Of course I’m excited about this release as it’s been the 1st stable release I’ve put since IronPython 2.6 (and the first blog too!). This release of PTVS focuses on a combination of the core IDE experience (intellisense, debugging, profiling, code navigation, etc..) as well as a set of features which target Technical / High Performance Computing. That includes support for MPI cluster debugging and integrated IPython support.
PTVS has been a long time in the making and it represents the fruition of a lot of effort here at Microsoft to produce a Python IDE. This actually goes back a long time starting it’s development several years ago on the IronPython team. Back then we had done several small projects to figure out what we’d want to do in the Python IDE space. That included a couple of attempts of building a stand alone IDE using the same components Visual Studio is built upon as a few different attempts at extending Visual Studio to add Python support (some of this having seen the light of day in the form of IronPython Studio and the Python integration which ships w/ the VS SDK). Ultimately we were able to re-use bits and pieces from all of these attempts and release IronPython Tools for Visual Studio w/ the Alpha of IronPython 2.7.
But we needed one last push to turn PTVS into what you see today – and that final push brought support for more than just IronPython and we now have turned Visual Studio into a general purpose Python IDE. Whatever version of Python you’d like to use I think you’ll find that PTVS provides a great experience – whether you’re using traditional CPython or IronPython (which we still have special support for including WPF designer support) or another Python distribution such as the speedy PyPy. The only feature which doesn’t currently work across Python distributions is the profiling support which for performance reasons is tied to the CPython embedding API.
Anyway, if you’re looking for doing Python development on Windows I hope you’ll give PTVS a shot and let us know what you think.