When comparing Light Table vs IDLE, the Slant community recommends Light Table for most people. In the question“What are the best Python IDEs or editors?” Light Table is ranked 22nd while IDLE is ranked 28th. The most important reason people chose Light Table is:
With LT's inline evaluation, you don't have to re-compile your whole source file. Each time you want to see an output, all you have to do is hover your cursor over the line you'd like to evaluate and press `ctrl+enter`; LT will evaluate that line of code for you.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Inline evaluation
With LT's inline evaluation, you don't have to re-compile your whole source file. Each time you want to see an output, all you have to do is hover your cursor over the line you'd like to evaluate and press
ctrl+enter; LT will evaluate that line of code for you.
Pro Your code runs live as you write it
The "Watches" feature lets you see your code running live as you type it. This means that you can debug your code live while writing it, which leads to considerably less programming errors.
Pro Plugin manager available
LT has a plugin manager built directly inside of it. This plugin manager connects to LT's own registry of plugins, so whenever you want assistance while writing your HTML, JS, or even Python, just open up the plugin manager, search for it, and click the little install button beside it's name. Your plugin will then be installed.
Pro Sometimes simple is best
For short scripts, a heavyweight IDE just gets in the way. It's also easier for beginners to understand.
Pro Written in pure Python/tkinter
You can dig in and change how it works.
Pro Included in standard Python distributions
You probably already have it.
It has one.
Con No Tabbing for Files or Shell instances
Idle's Interactive Python Shell and the Python Text Editor are separate window applications. Many would expect them to be unified together within a single window. To create a python program file, or module, the user first opens Idle (It's Interactive Shell), then the user goes to [File] and [New File] to open the Idle Text Editor. Plus, every time a new python file is opened, a new instance of Idle runs separately. So, there are no tabbed modules. That's clumsy approach that adds the complexity of juggling around many Idle instances.