2021 – The Year Windows Became a First Class Python Development Environment
Chris Patti posts on Blind Not Dumb about being disenchanted with Apple laptop decisions and deciding to take another look at Windows 10 and available advances in developer tools.
Some of the Windows tools highlighted:
I still love me some Bourne shell, it’s just as powerful today as it was decades ago. However Windows Powershell has some incredibly powerful paradigms of its own that are worth looking into.
…a superlative alternative (to Windows Console) that’s really come into its own in 2021 – Windows Terminal. Finally all the features anyone who’s been working in the UNIX world have come to expect over the last 30 years are available on Windows as well. Multiple tabs, excellent terminal emulation, great theming and color support, and the ability to seamlessly handle different shells per tab. I regularly keep a Powershell and a WSL tab open for my work.
A very recent addition on the Windows side that seems equally powerful and easy is Microsoft Powertoys Powertoys Run feature. I can launch apps, bind keys to actions, and access system functions like sleep, restart and the like all 100% from the keyboard. Nice!
Another Powertoys addition that’s frosting my Pop-tarts is Powertoys Keyboard Manager which allows me to remaps the dread CAPSLOCK key to Ctrl so it’s right next to my pinky as God Intended 🙂
If you’d uttered the words “Python” and “Windows” in the same sentence a few years back, the average Pythonista would have rolled their eyes or groaned and then proceeded to tell you a war story about how they had to spend weeks trying to get some critical module or other working.
Those days are just straight up gone. Microsoft and the Python community at large have poured countless engineer hours into making the Python ecosystem a truly first class experience under Windows. Virtual environments, poetry, and even tools for installing and managing command line scripts that integrate with the shell like pipx work just great under Powershell on Windows.
And Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL):
With the advent of WSL2 and most recently WSL-g you really do have everything you need to seamlessly build, debug and run Linux programs on Windows, including those that require X/Wayland GUI support or sound.
It’s not just some kind of compatibility shim, it’s an actual Linux kernel running in Windows. The integration is so complete these days that you can run things like Docker within WSL successfully. That’s a really big deal!
Also, most of the popular mainstream development tools like Pycharm and Visual Studio Code have superlative support for deploying to and debugging in WSL built in.
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