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Komodo and Pygame Go 1.0

04/11/2001

ActiveState recently released Komodo 1.0, an IDE for Python and Perl written for Mozilla. You will need a fast system with 128 megabytes of RAM or more to run Komodo. Actually, based on comments from others and my own experience with Mozilla, you might want about twice that much RAM. Komodo is released under a dual license, one for commercial developers and one for non-commercial developers. To get a license you must subscribe to the ActiveState Programmer Network (ASPN). In order of increasing cost and privilege, you may get an Open, Komodo, or Perl subscription. A Python subscription is still in the works. The Perl subscription gives you access to O'Reilly's Perl books among other things. I guess that the Python subscription will give you something similar. ActiveState has reworked their web site as a part of the new subscription offerings. Don't be surprised when it looks different than you remembered.

Some people have told me they like Komodo, others that it is slow. The benefit most seem to agree upon is that you can learn just one IDE and use it for both Perl and Python. If you use a lot of regular expressions you are sure to appreciate the Rx Toolkit and Library, tools to help you build, test and debug your trickier regular expressions. I haven't tried it because I have a slow connection and a mere 64 megabytes of RAM on my system. Until I get a nice windfall, I will probably stick to Vim.

Something I am playing with now, however, is Pygame. Pete Shinners announced the 1.0 release of Pygame last week. Pygame wraps Sam Lantinga's Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL) library, giving it a nice Python interface. SDL is an open source, cross-platform multimedia library covered by the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL.) Loki Entertainment Software uses SDL to port popular games to the Linux system. Because SDL is a cross platform toolkit, Python/SDL games written with Pygame should be able to run on a Mac or Windows system as easily as they would on a Linux system.

Pygame developers Pete Shinners and David Clark have also cooked up a Pygame Code Repository to help jump start Python game development. It currently contains five submissions of handy classes and algorithms. Code in the repository need not be specific to Pygame. Anything generally useful to game programming is appreciated. Anyone may contribute to the repository.

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Stephen Figgins administrates Linux servers for Sunflower Broadband, a cable company.


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