IDEA places an emphasis in safe refactoring, offering a [variety of features](https://www.jetbrains.com/idea/features/refactoring.html) to make this possible for a variety of languages. These features include safe delete, type migration and replacing method code duplicates.
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Pro Version control integration
PyCharm has CVS, Git, Subversion and Mercurial integration.
Pro Catches run-time information when running the code
PyCharm can leverage run-time information when running your application with the built-in debugger to figure out what types can possibly be passed to which functions, etc.
Pro One of the best autocompletion engines around
PyCharm has two types of autocompletion: structural completion and word expansion.
Both types of autocompletion work extremely well, have little to no problems and are quite fast even when loading suggestions on the go.
Pro Great pip support
PyCharm offers great pip integration. When opening a project it automatically checks for a
requirements.txt file in the root of the project. If it's found, it checks if all the libraries are available in the interpreter. If one or more libraries are missing, it issues a warning and asks whether you want to install any missing libraries.
Pro Excellent integration with debugging tools
All the debugging can be done inside the IDE. Breakpoints in the code can be added using keyboard shortcuts or the mouse. When the code is executed through the debugger a toolbar pops up with all the relevant context needed for the debugging process.
The whole process is smooth and painless and you don't even have to switch windows to do the debugging.
Pro Free version available
There's a community edition (with limited features) that's free to use. You can also get a 30-day trial of the Professional edition.
Pro Great for navigating large codebases
PyCharm has amazing code navigation implementations. It supports both goto symbol and goto declaration. The former finds classes, variables, functions, etc by name. While the latter is used by moving the cursor on top of a symbol and by using the mouse or a keyboard combination it finds the declaration of that symbol and takes you there.
Both of these features are extremely helpful when consulting large code-bases and when trying to understand an API written by someone else.
Pro Excellent refactoring support
There are many refactoring options including renaming and changing signature across entire projects. It also includes the an ability to preview changes before committing and exclude anything unwanted.
Pro Supports installing third party libraries
No need to go to the command line to download a new package, PyCharm has an easy system to browse, download, and update third party packages.
Pro Free student access to Professional Edition
With a valid .edu address students can register to use the Professional edition and enjoy all the perks of the full paid version for free.
Though it should be mentioned that the with the free student acess you cannot use PyCharm for any commercial purposes, even accepting donations for an open source project.
Pro Automatically figures out what test to run based on the method the cursor rests at a given time
PyCharm, based on what method or class the cursor rests, can figure out what tests to run and perform them with a keyboard shortcut or two, without breaking up the flow and need to switch to a command line interface.
Pro Vim mode for people used to Vim commands
IdeaVim supports motion keys, insert mode commands, marks, registers, visual mode commands, vim regexps, key mapping, macros, digraphs, some ex and :set commands. You can find a full comparison in the IdeaVim reference manual.
Pro Has a lot of plugins
PyCharm offers a high variety of plugins like Pylin, Mypy etc. covering all the above mentioned. Plus it has a built-in support to detect wrong formatted/named things (inspection).
Pro Built-in Django support
Pycharm has excellent django support, from templating to management commands, it has it all.
Pro Sophisticated static analysis tools
Pro Remote debugging over ssh coupled with automatic deployment creates a streamlined workflow
The professional version allows remote debugging over ssh, which together with automatic deployment creates a streamlined workflow.
Pro Easy to optimize code with built-in profiling tools
If you have a yappi profiler installed on your interpreter, PyCharm starts the profiling session with it by default, otherwise it uses the standard cProfile profiler.
Pro Amazing direct database integration
Pycharm supports SQLlite, PostgresQL, Mysql, etc out of the box and is integrated very nicely with Pycharm. Making database modifications could never have been easier as changing a cell value and committing the changes straight from pycharm.
Pro Smart refactorings
IDEA places an emphasis in safe refactoring, offering a variety of features to make this possible for a variety of languages.
These features include safe delete, type migration and replacing method code duplicates.
Pro Fast and smart contextual assistance
Uses a fast indexing technique to provide contextual hints (auto-completion, available object members, import suggestions).
On-the-fly code analysis to detect errors and propose refactorization.
Pro Android support, JavaEE support, etc
A very complete development environment support.
Pro Lots of plugins
Many plugins are available for almost any task a developer may need to cover. Plugins are developed by Jetbrains themselves or by 3rd parties through the SDK available for writing them.
Pro Stable and robust
IntelliJ IDEA hardly ever crashes or has any issues that plague other Java IDEs like file corruption or slowness.
Pro Intuitive and slick UI
IDEA has a clean, intuitive interface with some customization available (such as the Darcula theme).
Pro Support for many languages
IntelliJ supports many languages besides Java, some of these are: golang, Scala, Clojure, Groovy, Bash, etc.
Pro Clear and detailed documentation
The documentation is exhaustive, easy to navigate, and clearly worded.
Pro Many convenient features
These simplify the daily work, e.g. copy/cut a whole line without the need to select it.
Pro Free version available
There is a free community edition (open source) and an ultimate edition, which you can compare here.
The ultimate edition is available for free for one year for students but must be registered through an .edu e-mail account.
Pro Very powerful debugger
With ability to step into a certain part of a large method invocation (Shift+F7), drop frame, executing code snippets, showing method return values, etc.
Pro Gradle support
Pro Buit-in Git support
Pro Embedded database support
Creating an embedded database, running SQL script in a dedicated terminal, viewing tables and their contents, and creating a connection to an in-memory or embedded database is fully supported
Con Very high memory usage
Memory usage is usually anywhere around 1-2GB and possibly larger with larger projects
Con Not suitable to edit project's files written in other languages
There is a high variety of support for a lot of languages like markdown etc. Not for Java and so on, but it is a Python IDE.
Con Some relatively basic functionality requires paid license
Con Vim mode is limited
Con Rendering is awful
Con Odd Autosave "feature", can't be disabled fully
PyCharm automatically saves your files for you, always, without telling you. You can't disable this. There's a way to indicate if a file has been modified via an indicator in the tab (not enabled by default - why?).
If you exit it won't ask you if you want to save the modified file. Totally unintuitive and contrary to all other established workflows. It's ok to try something new, but give users the option to have the "normal" behaviour of any other IDE/editor out there. Can be a deal breaker for those that need to know/have control over when they save their files. (PyCharm offers a history to undo the automatic save, but why force a user to undo something with extra steps that shouldn't have happened in the first place?)
Con Little native desktop integration
If you use Linux with Gnome or KDE, PyCharm does relatively little to integrate into your local desktop environment
Con Assinine licensing scheme
JetBrains licensing, especially if you have multiple products, is a blocker. You just can't a fixed line-item price (for departmental budgeting) for their licenses.
Con It cannot reindex on the fly packages installed from git source
If you've installed a package with the command:
pip install -e git+https://email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org#egg=package
you have two options available to make PyCharm update/see it:
- restart PyCharm
- invalidate caches
Con Not possible to run scripts in a single console
Con Sometimes all autocomplete stuff dies with over 9k Java exceptions with no visible reason
Con Slow startup
Startup can be slow deepending on system configuration
Con Uses a lot of RAM
Con Standard hotkeys behave differently
Seems like hotkeys assignment in Idea has no logical consistency.
Like «F3» is usually next match, «Ctrl+W» - close tab, etc — they map to some different action by default.
There is a good effort in making the IDE friendly for immigrants from other products: there are options to use hotkeys from Eclipse, and even emacs. But these mappings are very incomplete. And help pages do not take this remapping into account, rather mentioning the standard hotkeys.
So, people coming from other IDEs/editors are doomed to using mouse and context menus (which are rather big and complex).
Con Bugs are not solved as often as they should
They are more interested in adding new features or issuing new versions than solving bugs.
Con Cannot open multiple projects in the same window
Con Built with closed source components
The version with full features is not opensource. Parts of the code are under apache licence though.
Con Lack of plugins
IntelliJ supports a very small amount of plugins. Although these are 'quality approved', many features are missing and can't be implemented because of that.