Saturday, January 23, 2016

Thonny - A Python IDE for Beginners

I received an email a few days back from Aivar Annamaa about a Python IDE for beginners called Thonny.

The YouTube video introducing the IDE looks promising, so I am jumping at the opportunity to take a look at it.

Thonny is in the Python Package Index, so it can be easily installed (and installed by user without system admin privileges) using pip.  In a previous post I documented installing Python 3.4, which is required to before what follows.

First I want to get pip3.  Since it is not yet in the main Centos repository, I installed it with (note: run $ sudo -i and then # exit before running this command in the same terminal emulator so as not to be prompted for a sudo password):
$ curl https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py | sudo python3.4
I want to install Thonny inside the user's local directory, so I installed it with:
$ pip3 install --user thonny
This installs the thonny egg in $HOME/.local/lib/python3.4/site-packages (creating the needed lib/python3.4/site-package directory if it is not already there), and installs a shell script to launch it in $HOME/.local/bin. When I tried running thonny from the command prompt, I got an error message: ImportError: No module named 'tkinter'. So I needed to install tkinter:
$ sudo yum install python34-tkinter
after which thonny launched.  It complained that it couldn't find rope or jedi, however, so I installed those locally as well:
$ pip3 install --user rope
$ pip3 install --user jedi
Since thonny is a GUI IDE, I wanted a GUI launcher for it.  To get one I created a Thonny.desktop file based on the one I found here, with the following contents:
[Desktop Entry]
Type=Application
Name=Thonny
GenericName=Python IDE
Exec=/home/[username]/.local/bin/thonny %F
Comment=Python IDE for beginners
Icon=/home/[username]/.local/lib/python3.4/site-packages/thonny/res/thonny.ico
Terminal=false
Categories=Application;Education;Development;Debugger;IDE;
MimeType=text/x-python;
Actions=Edit;

[Desktop Action Edit]
Exec=/home/[username]/.local/bin/thonny %F
Name=Edit with Thonny
and placed it in my /home/[username]/.local/applications directory (Note: replace [username] with your actual username).

Here is a screenshot of Thonny running hello.py:
My next task will be to go through some beginner Python lessons using Thonny to see how it feels.

3 comments:

  1. If this is an IDE for beginners, why are the instructions to install Thonny not for beginners? I have no clue how to install Thonny the way you describe.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, it is the instructions to install Pip3 that I don't understand.

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