JetBrains gives C and Python devs a peep at upcoming IDE updates

Python and C developers bored with their tooling can now try out the newest early access previews of JetBrains’ PyCharm and CLion with features such as Big Data Tools support and CMake actions a go.

As is usual for the development tool company, JetBrains has released EAPs for v2020.2 of two of their language-specific development tools for testing, before making the major releases available. Preview builds are free to use and expire 30 days after their build date. They can be used in parallel to a stable IDE version, with new builds expected to land every two weeks until the end of July.

Looking at the new features, PyCharm 2020.2, the company’s Python IDE, will for example allow users to jump to the declaration of a symbol, since the implementation seems to be complete now. It also offers ways to access pull requests on GitHub and complete CSS selectors in querySelector methods. 

To make the product more welcoming to new users, PyCharm will, once updated, create a new main.py in a new project root instead of just displaying an empty window when the New Project dialogue is enabled and a Pure Python project is created. An intention preview for inspection quick-fixes should offer additional help to get rid of most common problems.

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Having said that, version 2020.2 could be of special interest to developers already using the Big Data Tools plugin that recently made it into general availability, since the new release comes with support for these helpers. PyCharm’s debugger also includes an additional  “View as DataFrame” feature for geopandas.GeoDataFrame, since this has proven to be handy to users of the pandas library.

For CLion’s EAP, JetBrains has focused on making the IDE run smoother and not slow down or freeze as often when for example analysing data flows, or using the Visual Studio toolchain for debugging. The CLion team also realised that its own language engine “is not evolving fast enough”, which led it to make the project’s clangd-based engine the new default.

Since CMake is still amongst the most used tools in C programmer’s circles, CLion 2020.2 will come fitted with some actions for CMake projects. Under “Find Actions” developers will for instance find CMake Settings, and actions to stop CMake project reload or open the CMakeCache file. 

As in PyCharm, integration with GitHub was improved, providing options to merge pull requests, review requests, submit reviews, and attach comments from within the IDE. A “more spacious view for GitHub Pull Requests” displays information associated with a PR once double-clicked. 

Other than that, the unit testing framework has been expanded to work with template tests from the Catch2 test framework, and a new version of the PlatformIO plugin for embedded development has been added. More details can be found in a blog entry detailing the CLion EAP.

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