What Is An Integrated Development Environment (IDE)?

An integrated development environment (IDE) is an application that facilitates application development. IDEs are designed to encompass all programming tasks in one application. Therefore, IDEs offer a central interface featuring all the tools a developer needs, including the following:

  • Code editor: This feature is a text editor designed for writing and editing source code. Source code editors are distinguished from text editors because they enhance or simplify the writing and editing of code.
  • Compiler: This tool transforms source code written in a human readable/writable language into a form executable by a computer.
  • Debugger: This tool is used during testing to help debug application programs.
  • Build automation tools: These tools automate common developer tasks.

In addition, some IDEs might also include the following:

  • Class browser: This tool is used to examine and reference the properties of an object-oriented class hierarchy.
  • Object browser: This feature is used to examine the objects instantiated in a running application program.
  • Class hierarchy diagram: This tool allows the programmer to visualize the structure of object-oriented programming code.

IDE vs Code Editor -

IDEs can be used as text editors, and text editors can be used as IDEs. A text editor is just for writing/modifying text/code.

With an IDE, you should do a lot more within that single program; running, debugging, version control, etc.

Let us install Jupyter Notebook, Anaconda which is a distribution of the Python and R programming languages for scientific computing and the packages here are generally more optimized than other Python packages for most of our work in Machine Learning we'll do it in Python.

Installing Jupyter Notebook on Linux -

Either setup virtual environment first or directly install jupyter notebook -

  pip3 install virtualenv
  virtualenv venv
  source venv/bin/activate (Linux) || venv\Scripts\activate (Windows)
  pip install jupyter
  # Create a new jupyter notebook with Python3
  jupyter notebook

Let us install a very light and multipurpose IDE Visual Studio Code and get our hands dirty.

We will run a simple python script in Jupyter Notebook in the VSCode IDE -
1. Install Jupyter Notebook extension for VSCode.

2. Open Command Pallete (Ctrl+Shift+P) and launch Jupyter Notebook.

3. Write a Python script and press (Shift+Enter) to execute the selected cell.

Do explore other cool extensions available for the IDE.

Installing Anaconda on Linux -

  • To use GUI packages with Linux, , download extended dependencies for Qt
    apt-get install libgl1-mesa-glx libegl1-mesa libxrandr2 libxrandr2 libxss1 libxcursor1 libxcomposite1 libasound2 libxi6 libxtst6
  • In your browser, download the Anaconda installer for Linux.
  • Verify data integrity
    sha256sum /path/filename
  • bash ~/Downloads/Anaconda3-2020.02-Linux-x86_64.sh
  • Accept and agree the default installation method.
  • Close and open your terminal window for the installation to take effect, or you can enter the command source ~/.bashrc.
  • Use command conda init to check if the installation was successfull.
  • It automatically installs jupyter notebook. Run jupyter notebook.

This should get you ready for the core operations with optimized performance for various programming tasks. Until next time!