Wing IDE 5 was developed and released by Wingware and has been available on Steam since 4-30-2014. It is an IDE developed for the Python coding language and available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
It is an easy to read and easy to learn programming language when compared to Java or C for example. In fact, it has won awards and has the fastest growing popularity by programmers. I started programming at a fairly young age on my Commodore 64 (yeah I’m actually that old) and because of the massive documentation and explanation included with the system literally everybody who had the interest could learn it. I can hear you say “but C64 used Basic” yes it did, but once you’ve been bitten by the “bits, bytes, sprites, rams and roms” virus, it won’t let you go.
I used both the built in Python 2 and 3 in Wing IDE and found it very easy to switch between the versions. Every time you close Wing IDE and start it up again it will continue where you closed it with the last used Python version. There are 3 different versions: Professional, the full featured commercial type, Personal, for personal use missing a few options, And Wing 101 a severely cut down free version for students and educational use. The first thing I noticed is the immense guide (documentation and tutorial) that comes with it, there isn’t an option or issue that can’t be found. They did a great job implementing Python’s easy to use, easy to learn philosophy.
Some excellent features are the personalizing of the IDE; you can change and customize it to however it works best for you. ( i.e. custom key bindings.) There is an auto completer, bad code will be highlighted as you write it, and the best debugger I’ve seen so far. Remote debugging and multi-threaded debugging are only a couple of the many options there are. You can compare files and merge files at various points. Typing code is very easy to read because of the different colors used for keywords, symbols, text, etc. The source assistant in the lower right corner will show you what you are currently typing for example it will tell you: Python keyword or string with a description of it and a link to the library. You can also click on any place in the file and it will show what it is. Another nice feature is the Wing tips window that automatically opens when you start Wing. It’s like a compressed tutorial giving you tips and hints about how to work with Wing. There just are too many features to describe without turning this review into a book. It really doesn’t matter if you are a professional programmer or never seen code before, with the extensive tutorials and documentation everybody can learn Wing. This is an IDE that makes programming fun. I know I enjoyed it. Go ahead get the 30 day trial and I guarantee you’ll never go back.
overall score 4.5
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