This chapter provided a look at two IDEs available for Python on Windows. Both IDLE and PythonWin allow you to develop, run, and debug Python programs, and provide unique Python-based features you won’t find in other environments.
PythonWin and IDLE are not competitors; in fact, they can be viewed as partners. The developers of both packages have gone to considerable effort to ensure that the best features of each are available in the other. As we have seen, the primary difference is the GUI environment in which they run. PythonWin runs only under Windows, and it takes full advantage of Windows features: excellent if you use only Windows. IDLE provides the one key feature PythonWin will almost certainly never have: its runs on all popular, modern operating systems.
Hopefully this chapter has allowed you to see how each development environment operates and encouraged you to try both. Although most examples in this book use PythonWin to run sample programs, they all work perfectly under IDLE, so feel free to use the environment of your choice.