January 24, 2006

IntelliJ IDEA Python plugin available in CVS

I’m happy to announce that Pythonid, the Python language plugin for IntelliJ IDEA, is now available as an incubator project at java.net. There are no public releases yet, but the entire source code is available in CVS and licensed under the Apache 2 license.

I started working on Pythonid as a spare time project before I joined the IDEA team, while I was still working on Omea. After I started working on IDEA, I no longer had much spare time – and, frankly speaking, had enough IDEA-related coding in the daytime. Because of that, the development of the plugin pretty much stalled. However, I did send the plugin sources to several developers who expressed interest in the plugin newsgroup, and one of them – Keith Lea – was sufficiently interested to pick up the project and adapt it for use in the company where he’s working. Keith was also the one who arranged the release of the plugin at java.net.

The main problem currently preventing the release of the plugin is lack of a formatter. Otherwise, the plugin has roughly achieved feature parity with the JavaScript plugin as of IntelliJ IDEA 5.0. The formatter implementation has been problematic because of the issues with the formatter core – the Python indentation and whitespace handling is quite different from that of Java, so the core sometimes needs to be extended in order to support Python well.

I expect to make a “real” release of the plugin (and upload it to the Plugin Manager) as soon as either the formatter reaches somewhat working state, or it becomes clear that it will not be possible to achieve a sufficiently working formatter with IntelliJ IDEA 5.1. In the latter case, the plugin will be released with the formatter disabled.

There is still lots and lots of work to do on the plugin, so if you’re interested in contributing, feel free to contact me.

Update: Chris Miller has kindly provided instructions for checking out and building the plugin.

Posted by Dmitry Jemerov at January 24, 2006 06:52 PM


As I am starting a project where Python will be the choice of programming langauge, I am very interested in tying out the python plugin for IntelliJ. I have some experience using the IDE for Java (very good experience) and therefore I would very much like to use it for my next project.

Posted by: Soren Anderberg at February 12, 2006 10:12 PM
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