eric7 is an integrated development environment for the Python language.
0. What is eric7?
eric7 is a full featured Python editor and IDE, written in Python. It is based on the cross platform Qt UI toolkit, integrating the highly flexible Scintilla editor control. It is designed to be usable as everyday quick and dirty editor as well as being usable as a professional project management tool integrating many advanced features Python offers the professional coder. eric7 includes a plug-in system, which allows easy extension of the IDE functionality with plug-ins downloadable from the net. For more details see <https://eric-ide.python-projects.org>.
Installing eric7 is a simple process. There are various methods available. Please choose the one best suited to your needs and skills. eric7 may be must with Python 3, Qt5 and PyQt5.
1.1 Create a Python virtual environment for eric7
It is recommended to install eric7 into a Python virtual environment in order to keep your Python distribution clean. In order to do that create it by entering the following command in a terminal window.
python3 -m venv eric7_venv
python.exe -m venv eric7_venv
Replace eric7_venv with the desired path to the directory for the virtual environment. All further instructions will assume this environment name.
1.2a Variant 1: Installation via the “install.py” script
This method results in the most complete install on all supported platforms. After extracting the eric7 distribution archive just execute the following command in a terminal window.
Change the path to the Python executable appropriately. The installation script will check for all prerequisites and will ask for confirmation to install them. If the installation process needs tuning type ~/eric7_venv/bin/python3 install.py --help for some help. Using the --yes option answers yes to all questions automatically.
If you want to uninstall the package just execute the uninstall.py script. This gets rid of all installed files. In this case please send an email to the below mentioned address and tell me your reason. This might give me a hint on how to improve eric7.
During the installation process a file containing some information about the installation will be created. If this is not desired, the --no-info command line option may be added to the above given install command.
1.2b Variant 2: Installation via the Python Package Index PyPI
This method is the easiest one but does not create a macOS® Application. Enter the following command in a terminal window.
~/eric7_venv/bin/python3 -m pip install --upgrade --prefer-binary eric-ide
eric7_venv\Scripts\python.exe -m pip install --upgrade --prefer-binary eric-ide
Once the installation is finished navigate to the executable directory of the Python virtual environment and execute the eric7_post_install script. This will create application menu entries on Linux and desktop and start menu entries on Windows® platforms.
1.3 Installation of Qt Tools via Qt online installer
In order to get the most out of eric7 it is recommended to install the Qt Tools like Qt Designer or Qt Linguist. If the above shown installation variants are executed, these tools will be installed automatically. Otherwise it is recommended to get them from th Qt web site by following these steps.
Download the Qt online installer from the Qt download site.
Install Qt by executing the installer.
Configure the path to the Qt tools on the Qt configuration page of the eric7 configuration dialog.
2. Installation of translations
The default distribution archive of eric7 includes all supported translations already. If the above installation variant 1 was performed with this, you may skip this section.
If the nolang archive was used, translations may be added later on by downloading the desired language pack, extract it to a temporary directory and execute the install-i18n.py script (type ~/eric7_venv/bin/python3 install-i18n.py).
Just call up eric7_ide, which will start the IDE. Use the “what is”-help (arrow with ?) to get some help. The eric web site provides some documents describing certain aspects of eric. To start the unit test module in a standalone variant simply call up eric7_testing. This will show the same dialog (though with a little bit less functionality) as if started from within eric7_ide. The web browser can be started as a standalone program by executing the eric7_browser script.
Please note, the first time you start eric7_ide it will recognize, that it hasn’t been configured yet, and will show the configuration dialog. Please take your time and go through all the configuration items. However, every configuration option has a meaningful default value.
4. Using eric7_ide on devices with small displays
eric7_ide can be used on devices with displays smaller than full HD as well (i.e. smaller than 1920 x 1080 pixels). If such a small screen is detected, the interface using sidebars with just the left sidebar is chosen automatically. This cannot be changed. If the auto-detection fails, use of the small screen layout can be forced by starting eric7_ide with the ‘–small-screen’ command line option. This changes the respective settings available via the Interface ⇨ Interface configuration page (options ‘Layout’ and ‘Combine left and right sidebar’.
5. Running from the sources
If you want to run eric7_ide from within the source tree you have to execute the compileUiFiles.py script once after a fresh checkout from the source repository or when new dialogs have been added. Thereafter just execute the eric7_ide.py script.
6. Tray starter
eric7 comes with a little utility called “eric7_tray”. This embeds an icon in the system tray, which contains a context menu to start eric7 and all it’s utilities. Double clicking this icon starts the eric7 IDE.
eric7 provides an interface to the QScintilla completion and call-tips functionality. QScintilla2 comes with API files for Python and itself. PyQt6 and PyQt5 contain API files as well. These are installed by default. An API file for eric7 is installed in the same place, if installation variant 1 was chosen.
In order to use completions and call-tips in eric7 please configure these functions in the “Preferences Dialog” on the “Editor -> APIs”, “Editor -> Autocompletion” and “Editor -> Calltips” pages.
Additional completions and call-tip providers are available through the eric7 plug-in system. See below for details.
8. Remote Debugger
In order to enable the remote debugger start eric7, open the preferences dialog and configure the settings on the debugger pages.
The remote login must be possible without any further interaction (i.e. no password prompt). If the remote setup differs from the local one you must configure the Python interpreter and the Debug Client to be used in the Preferences dialog. Use the install-debugclients.py script to install the debug client files and set the entries of the a.m. configuration page accordingly.
To ease the installation process of the debug client, the eric7 sources include the script install-debugclients.py.
9. Passive Debugging
Passive debugging mode allows the startup of the debugger from outside of the IDE. The IDE waits for a connection attempt. For further details see the file README-passive-debugging.rst.
10. Plug-in System
eric7 contains a plug-in system, that is used to extend eric7’s functionality. Some plug-ins are part of eric7. Additional plugins are available via the Internet. Please use the built-in plug-in repository dialog to get a list of available (official) plug-ins and to download them. For more details about the plug-in system please see the documentation area.
11. Interfaces to additional software packages
At the moment eric7 provides interfaces to the following software packages.
This is part of the Qt distribution and is used to generate user interfaces.
This is part of the Qt distribution and is used to generate translations.
This is part of the Qt distribution and may be used to display help files.
This is a distributed version control system available from <https://www.mercurial-scm.org/>. It is the one used by eric7 itself.
This is another (and probably more widely known) distributed version control system. It is available from <https://www.git-scm.com>.
This is a version control system available from <https://subversion.apache.org>. eric7 supports two different Subversion interfaces. One is using the svn command line tool, the other is using the PySvn Python interface <https://pysvn.sourceforge.io/>. The selection is done automatically depending on the installed software. The PySvn interface is preferred. This automatism can be overridden an a per project basis using the “User Properties” dialog.
This is a tool to install additional Python packages from the Python Package Index (PyPI). It is available from <https://pypi.org/project/pip/>
This is another tool to install additional Python packages and manage virtual environments. It is available from <https://github.com/conda/conda> or <https://pypi.org/project/conda/>
This is a tool to create Python virtual environments. It is available from <https://pypi.org/project/virtualenv/>.
Note: Python 3 includes the “venv” package, which can also be used to create Python virtual environments. This package is preferred and is used by eric in various places.
This is a tool to check Python code coverage. A slightly modified version is part of the eric7 distribution. The original version is available from <http://www.nedbatchelder.com/code/modules/coverage.html>
This is part of the standard Python distribution and is used to profile Python source code.
This is a tool to format the source code according to the black formatting rules. More information is available from <https://github.com/psf/black>
This is a tool to generate SBOM (Software Bill Of Material) files. For more information see <https://github.com/CycloneDX/cyclonedx-python>
eric7 and its tools are prepared to show the UI in different languages, which can be configured via the preferences dialog. The Qt and QScintilla translations are searched in the translations directory given in the preferences dialog (Qt page). If the translations cannot be found, some part of the HMI might show English texts even if you have selected something else. If you are missing eric7 translations for your language and are willing to volunteer for this work please send me an email naming the country code and I will send you the respective Qt-Linguist file.
13. Window Layout
eric7 provides a configurable window layout. The visibility of the various tool panes can be configured. The position of the shell pane may be configured as well.
14. Source code documentation
eric7 has a built in source code documentation generator, which is usable via the command line as well. For further details please see the file README-eric7-doc.rst.
15. Included Tools
eric7 comes with a long list of tools. These can be started via the eric7 tray starter or directly via the command line. They are available from within the IDE. The included tools are (sorted alphabetically):
This is the tool to generate API files from Python source code.
This is the eric7 web browser. It is a full blown browser based on QtWebEngine, which is based on the Chromium web engine.
This tool may be used to compare two files side-by-side. Differences between the files are highlighted by coloring the text.
This is the standalone variant of the configuration dialog. It offers most of the configuration options as are available from within eric7.
This tool may be used to view the differences between two files. These are shown as a unified or context diff.
This is the tool to extract source code documentation from source files and format that as HTML files.
This is a stripped down, standalone variant of the editor embedded in the eric7 IDE.
This is a standalone hex editor to work with binary files.
This is a little tool to create pixel based icons and save them in a pixmap format.
This is a standalone utility to install eric7 plug-ins available on the local machine.
This is a standalone variant of the plug-in repository window. It is used to view the available plug-ins and download them to the local machine.
This is a standalone utility to uninstall eric7 plug-ins.
This tool may be used to create regular expressions based on QRegularExpression.
This tool may be used to create Python regular expressions as used with the re module.
This is a standalone, graphical Python shell application.
This tool may be used to create screenshots of the whole screen, individual windows or selectable areas.
This is a simple tool to inspect SQL databases. All database products supported by Qt may be inspected. Note, that Qt database drivers may be installed first.
This is a standalone tool to execute existing unit tests using the Python built-in “unittest” package or the external “pytest” suite.
This is the tray starter application. See above for some details.
This tool may be used to preview translations of Qt forms. Forms and language files may be loaded separately. Multiple languages can be loaded and the active language can be switched between the loaded ones.
This tool is used to preview Qt forms. The display may be switched between the available Qt window styles.
This is a standalone tool to manage Python virtual environments. It is like the integrated pane and offers the same functionality.
eric7 (and the eric7 tools) is released under the conditions of the GPLv3. See separate license file LICENSE.GPL3 for more details. Third party software included in eric7 is released under their respective license and contained in the eric7 distribution for convenience.
17. Bugs and other reports
Please send bug reports, feature requests or contributions to eric bugs address. After the IDE is installed you can use the “Report Bug…” entry of the Help menu, which will send an email to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. To request a new feature use the “Request Feature…” entry of the Help menu, which will send an email to <email@example.com>.
Alternatively bugs may be reported via the eric7 issue tracker at <https://tracker.die-offenbachs.homelinux.org/>.
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