“with integrated IPython REPL support for smart history, shell commands and inline images, these tools provide a great exploratory coding environment. And with unique features like mixed mode debugging of Python with C++ and remote debugging of Linux servers in Azure, Visual Studio provides a great development environment for Python developers.”
Somasegar notes that Python code will run in most modern browsers as long as the browser is backed by a local Python engine and that Microsoft has also added support for Python in Azure. He says that where PTVS provides detailed IntelliSense and advanced debugging and profiling support, IPython enables easy sharing of “executable” notebooks comprised of mixed code, markdown and graphics.
The improved support for web frameworks is interesting; PTVS has had support for Django since 1.5, and now supports Bottle and Flask. There is also a “generic” web framework template that you can use for frameworks such as Pyramid. This videowalks you through setting up a Flask web project, importing an existing Pyramid one and publishing them to Azure Web Sites:
Microsoft is working on adding support for remote debugging for Azure Web Sites, and this is expected to be added to PTVS 2.1 Beta 2 in the near future.
If you’re using Django templates, the beta has full support for HTML5, CSS and JS. It has syntax highlighting and Intellisense for CSS and JS, and the HTML Intellisense has also been improved. Other improvements include better debugger performance, enhanced stability while working with large data sets, and the ability to add a CoreCompile target to your project when creating non-web-based projects inside Visual Studio.
The beta is free under the Apache 2.0 license, and is hosted on CodePlex. It can be installed in the free Visual Studio Express for Web, or the Visual Studio Express for Windows Desktop.