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IDEs vs Code Editors

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00:00 Let’s get started with a quick definition of “What is an IDE?” and “What is a code editor?” I’ll start off with the code editors.

00:08 So, a code editor—essentially, we know that anything that we do with code is we’re writing text instructions for the computer to execute, so any place where you can write text—a text editor, so to say—can be a tool for you to write code.

00:22 But there are some advantages that come with using an editor that is actually meant for writing code. One of those examples is syntax highlighting. It’s much easier to read code like this—if you know which parts are a variable, which parts are a string, et cetera, just by visual cues through syntax highlighting.

00:39 So, a code editor—to put it simply—is a text editor that has some features that make writing code easier. Now, an IDE, which stands for Integrated Development Environment, is something a bit more powerful and usually a bit more memory intensive.

00:57 An IDE is something that combines a couple of things together into one single program. So here, we have an example on the site where you can see you have a folder structure included, you have a text editor, a code editor that has syntax highlighting, you have a terminal, and in this case, we also have a database section.

01:14 It’s simply a bunch of tools that you often work with when you work with code, and they all come together in one program, which makes it much easier if you’re actually using all those different features to navigate between them.

01:27 You’re not going to have to switch between one program and another one, go back to the terminal, go somewhere else—but you simply have everything molded together into one program.

01:36 And that’s what an IDE is for. It’s usually more complex than a simple text or code editor. It has more features, maybe takes a bit longer to learn, but in the end is also more powerful. Okay, and this already sums up our quick description of “What’s an IDE?” and “What’s a code editor?” We’re going to see some of each, and you’ll also see that the distinction is not so clear-cut; a lot of code editors have some IDE features, and often you can expand one to make it more like the other, et cetera. So just think about it as, “A code editor is a text editor that has some good features for writing code, and an IDE is something usually more complex that combines a couple of different tools together.” All right! In the next video, we’re going to take a look at what actually makes a good IDE—or an editor—to work with Python code. See you there.

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