In the past few weeks I've sampled numerous Python IDEs for Mac OS X. Without exception, every one of them has major problems.
Without exception, they have crude GUIs, with drawing problems.
Without exception, every one of them has had either lacked completely, or had broken, the kind of source-level debugging that has been commonplace since the mid-1980s, such as visually setting breakpoints.
Most of them have the look of personal hobby projects, where the developer put in a little effort, and then abandoned the project. Menu items do nothing, help commands say "no help available." Documentation? Don't make me laugh, it hurts too much.
Even the allegedly polished products work really erratically. On Windows, I have to restart the ActiveState environment every time I want to re-run my program after making a change and saving the program, because it doesn't seem to ever realize that the file has been updated. Except sometimes it starts detecting changes for a while. It won't save my window layout. Except once in a while it does. However, breakpoints do work for me, and I'm able to do some debugging. But ActiveState for Mac seems to install completely different tools than ActiveState for Windows: no IDE whatsoever. Huh?
I'm having to do most of my debugging with print statements. I'm horrified. There is some kind of primitive debugger, but it requires modifying my source code, and that just seems stupid. The program I'm trying to debug is not unusual nor particularly complex; it just works over some XML and transforms some files.
My download log for tonight reads like a litany of failure: drpython, SPE, ScrIDE, and ActivePython.
DrPython: no interactive debugging. SPE: allegedly some kind of debugger, but it doesn't seem to work. ScrIDE: weird issue handling basic import statements that work on the other IDEs and with the command-line python without any trouble; other users are reporting this on the message board. ActivePython: claims to have some kind of IDE, but the Mac OS X package doesn't have it.
Is there one that would be as useful as, oh, Lightspeed Pascal circa 1985, if I were willing to pay for it?
As the song goes, is this all there is?