I recently got the bug to tinker around with Google App Engine (last night, actually) and then decided that I want to do this in Python (instead of Java which is also supported – maybe I like snakes better than coffee).
So, I downloaded the App Engine SDK, and then realized that I need to install Python – which I promptly did. Then I configured all the App Engine Started variables, and tried to churn out Hello World. First road-block, I didn’t have a Python IDE. So, I started coding this in NotePad++. Everything was smooth sailing till I started using some of the App Engine libraries, and had to start typing out long code sentences. For a guy who has done much of the coding on Visual Studio, you can imagine how I would be missing nice IDE features such as auto-complete and auto-suggest.
That is when I read somewhere that I can use Eclipse for Python development, and it will do some of those nifty IDE things that I was sorely missing. So, I downloaded Eclipse, and ‘installed’ it. And then I used the nice “Marketplace” feature to locate the PyDev plugin to install it (by the way, I am sure you already realize that to code in Python on eclipse you need a plugin such as PyDev since Eclipse doesn’t support Python out of the box).
So, here I was following a nice tutorial on how to configure PyDev to work with Eclipse, and after the first installation step, the tutorial asked me to go to the Window menu, and then click on the Preferences menu item; in the dialog that opens up, it asked me to find the PyDev. Here’s the problem – no PyDev settings were to be seen anywhere? I looked and looked. I uninstalled and reinstalled. I followed various methods to do this.
I was running Windows 7 64 bit, and I had downloaded the latest version of Eclipse (Helios), and I tried downloading the PyDev plugin directly from their site instead of the marketplace and install it. Nothing worked. Well, a lot of head scratching did reveal the problem eventually.
But first I curse the Eclipse developers to not show a proper error message when the plugin installation actually failed. The culprit was our old friend from Vista – UAC. When I launch Eclipse normally, the program doesn’t run at an elevated permission level. So, for some reason (I am newbie at Eclipse) the installation fails.
My solution was to run Eclipse as an administrator before installing the plugin. Guess what, worked like a charm. Now I go and see what more I can do with the App Engine (which is a whole different story altogether).