Python as we all know is a back-end programming language that over time has become quite popular among developers. It can be approached easily even if you are a newbie and are trying to learn plus it has a high level. VSCode is a popular editor and Visual Studio is an IDE that you can use to write Python code with and even compile. We have put together 7 extensions for VSCode and Visual Studio that can assist with Python programming.
It has a welcoming and established community that ensures that all user’s problems shall be entertained immediately. People have created various extensions and plugins that you can install on top of Python to increase its flexibility and compatibility.
It is being used in the following tasks:
- Web development.
- Web Scraping.
Its library is its biggest strength which can be used for:
- Processing text.
- Scientific computing.
- Test frameworks.
What are Python Extensions and what are they used for
This is a programming language interpreter which is offered by the app program. Now, it is quite helpful as by this users can write both macros and full-fledged programs to extend the original application.
It provides support to the completion of code and Intellisense through an interpreter who has been selected currently. It can also give suggestions while you are writing code to fix or replace with better alternatives.
What is included in an extension file
At the first glance what you need to do is group your code into four different parts which are as followed, the 5 main pillars are:
- It has the header file (which is very important).
- C Functions which we intend to expose as module interface.
- Tables that map names of functions as python developers see them to C Functions within the extension module.
- Initialization function.
Python.h provides access to internal Python API which hooks the module into the interpreter.
These need to be included before any other headers. Make sure to follow includes along with functions you want to call from python.
The Method Mapping Table Inside an Extension
Wondering how it works? Well here are the core parts:
- ml_name interpreter presents it as the function name used in Python programs.
- ml_meth functions address which carries any one of the signatures mentioned above.
- ml_flags: It indicates which among the 3 signatures is being used by ml_meth:
- It carries METH_VARARGS value.
- It can be bitwise OR’ed with METH_KEYWORDS if you allow keyword arguments within the function.
- It might also include METH_NOARGS value which states that you don’t want to accept any kind of arguments.
- ml_doc is quite interesting as it is docstring for function which can be NULL if you are not in the mood of writing one.
This one is referred to when the “module is loaded”. As a must the function needs to call “intiModule”, in this Module is the module name
This needs to be exported from the library which you shall be built. Python headers define “PyMODINIT_FUNC” to have correct incantations for it to happen for the certain environment in which compilation takes place. Simply use it while defining the function.
How To Install Extensions in VSCode or Visual Studio (Quickest Way)
Python modules both pure and extension are distributed easily by distutils package. All the modules are distributed in the form of source and both built and installed through the setup script known as setup.py.
As it gets installed you can now both import and call it in your Python script as mentioned below:
Top 7 VSCode and Visual Studio Extensions that are a must have
Python Test Explorer
With this run Python unittest or Pytest tests with Test Explorer User Interface. This is a small tool with a great UI and capabilities to debug.
What amazes us about this is that without leaving your browser you can now code, run and analyze with Jupyter Notebooks in the VS code directly.
We can now edit notebooks with the help of:
- VS code auto completion.
- Syntax highlighting.
Quite a long task and most of the time to complete this we usually take shortcuts as we do not have the tools to make it easy. It is able to diminish developers and yes it saves a lot of time.
Want to know the best thing?
It follows all standard formats like:
Supports the following:
- Kinds of parameters with multiline commenting features.
AREPL for Python
Did you ever had a terrible experience coding on a Python command-line interface while writing a simple script for one-time use or a program to perform a certain task!
Well don’t worry as we have a solution for you, we bring for you a real-time python scratchpad.
- It evaluates the code automatically but can be controlled from the settings.
- Local variables in their final state are displayed in collapsible JSON format.
- Error is displayed when a mistake is made.
- Offers diverse settings through which you can customize it according to look and taste.
The developers with help of this can write code faster. It is a textual autocomplete extension. Whenever you pen down any particular string in the editor you shall be shown a dialog box with recommendations for completing the code that you have started writing.
It comes with the following:
- Code completion.
- Learn from projects either personal or from team projects.
- No issues regarding licensing.
- Comes with both free and paid versions.
- Models are trained on open-source.
Snippets for Python
It was developed by Ferhat Yalcin which is an extension that comes in-built with snippet packs. If you are a newbie then this would be of great help.
It comes in-built with many snippets like:
It’s very helpful because it gives one example of every snippet thus making it great while learning it.
It provides users with rich information which helps users to write a better yet fast code.
Please download and install extensions or such packages from OFFICIAL sources ONLY! Recently it has been in the news that multiple Python packages were backdoored to steal AWS keys.
Below are official websites:
Python is already a very helpful and integrated programming language. You can use Extensions in Visual Studio and VSCode to make your life easier and even code quicker with our 7 recommendations above. Python packages are also fairly easy to install on Visual Studio so you shouldn’t face any problems there. Do let us know in the comments if you have any more suggestions or additions we could add above. Happy coding!