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README for the eric6 IDE

0. What is eric6?

eric6 is a full featured Python editor and IDE, written in Python. It is based on the cross platform Qt UI toolkit, integrating the highly flexible Scintilla editor control. It is designed to be usable as everdays' quick and dirty editor as well as being usable as a professional project management tool integrating many advanced features Python offers the professional coder. eric6 includes a plug-in system, which allows easy extension of the IDE functionality with plug-ins downloadable from the net. For more details see <https://eric-ide.python-projects.org>.

1. Installation

Installing eric6 is a simple process. There are various methods available. Please choose the one best suited to your needs and skills. eric6 may be must with Python 3, Qt5 and PyQt5.

1.1 Create a Python virtual environment for eric6

It is recommended to install eric6 into a Python virtual environment in order to keep your Python distribution clean. In order to do that create it by entering the following command in a terminal window:

python3 -m venv eric6_venv

Replace eric6_venv with the desired path to the directory for the virtual environment. All further instructions will assume this environment name.

1.2a Variant 1: Installation via the "install.py" script

This method results in the most complete install on all supported platforms. After extracting the eric6 distribution archive just execute the following command in a terminal window:

~/eric6_venv/bin/python3 install.py

Change the path to the Python executable appropriately. The installation script will check for all pre-requisites and will ask for confirmation to install them. If the installation process needs tuning type ~/eric6_venv/bin/python3 install.py --help for some help.

If you want to uninstall the package just execute the uninstall.py script. This gets rid of all installed files. In this case please send an email to the below mentioned address and tell me your reason. This might give me a hint on how to improve eric6.

1.2b Variant 2: Installation via the Python Package Index PyPI

This method is the easiest one but does not create a macOS® Application. Enter the following command in a terminal window:

~/eric6_venv/bin/python3 -m pip install --upgrade eric-ide

Once the installation is finished navigate to the executable directory of the Python virtual environment and execute the eric6_post_install script. This will create application menu entries on Linux and desktop and start menu entries on Windows® platforms.

1.3 Installation of Qt Tools via Qt online installer

In order to get the most out of eric6 it is recommended to install the Qt Tools like Qt Designer or Qt Linguist. The recommended way is this.

  1. Download the Qt online installer from the Qt download site.
  2. Install Qt by executing the installer.
  3. Configure the path to the Qt tools on the Qt configuration page of the eric6 configuration dialog.

2. Installation of translations

The default distribution archive of eric6 includes all supported translations already. If the above installation variant 1 was performed with this, you may skip this section.

If the nolang archive was used, translations may be added later on by downloading the desired language pack, extract it to a temporary directory and execute the install-i18n.py script (type ~/eric6_venv/bin/python3 install-i18n.py).

3. Running

Just call up eric6, which will start the IDE. Use the "what is"-help (arrow with ?) to get some help. The eric web site provides some documents describing certain aspects of eric. To start the unit test module in a standalone variant simply call up eric6_unittest. This will show the same dialog (though with a little bit less functionality) as if started from within eric6. The web browser can be started as a standalone program by executing the eric6_browser script.

Please note, the first time you start eric6 it will recognize, that it hasn't been configured yet, and will show the configuration dialog. Please take your time and go through all the configuration items. However, every configuration option has a meaningful default value.

4. Running from the sources

If you want to run eric6 from within the source tree you have to execute the compileUiFiles.py script once after a fresh checkout from the source repository or when new dialogs have been added. Thereafter just execute the eric6.py script.

5. Tray starter

eric6 comes with a little utility called "eric6_tray". This embeds an icon in the system tray, which contains a context menu to start eric6 and all it's utilities. Double clicking this icon starts the eric6 IDE.

6. Completions/Calltips

eric6 provides an interface to the QScintilla completion and calltips functionality. QScintilla2 comes with API files for Python and itself. PyQt4 and PyQt5 contain API files as well. These are installed by default. An API file for eric6 is installed in the same place, if installation variant 1 was chosen.

In order to use completions and calltips in eric6 please configure these functions in the "Preferences Dialog" on the "Editor -> APIs", "Editor -> Autocompletion" and "Editor -> Calltips" pages.

Additional completions and calltip providers are available through the eric6 plug-in system. See below for details.

7. Remote Debugger

In order to enable the remote debugger start eric6, open the preferences dialog and configure the settings on the debugger pages.

The remote login must be possible without any further interaction (i.e. no password prompt). If the remote setup differs from the local one you must configure the Python interpreter and the Debug Client to be used in the Preferences dialog. Use the install-debugclients.py script to install the debug client files and set the entries of the a.m. configuration page accordingly.

To ease the installation process of the debug client, the eric6 sources include the script install-debugclients.py.

8. Passive Debugging

Passive debugging mode allows the startup of the debugger from outside of the IDE. The IDE waits for a connection attempt. For further details see the file README-passive-debugging.rst.

9. Plug-in System

eric6 contains a plug-in system, that is used to extend eric6's functionality. Some plug-ins are part of eric6. Additional plugins are available via the Internet. Please use the built-in plug-in repository dialog to get a list of available (official) plug-ins and to download them. For more details about the plug-in system please see the documentation area.

10. Interfaces to additional software packages

At the moment eric6 provides interfaces to the following software packages.

Qt-Designer

This is part of the Qt distribution and is used to generate user interfaces.

Qt-Linguist

This is part of the Qt distribution and is used to generate translations.

Qt-Assistant

This is part of the Qt distribution and may be used to display help files.

Mercurial

This is a distributed version control system available from <https://www.mercurial-scm.org/>. It is the one used by eric6 itself.

Git

This is another (and probably more widely known) distributed version control system. It is available from <https://www.git-scm.com>.

Subversion

This is a version control system available from <https://subversion.apache.org>. eric6 supports two different Subversion interfaces. One is using the svn command line tool, the other is using the PySvn Python interface <https://pysvn.sourceforge.io/>. The selection is done automatically depending on the installed software. The PySvn interface is preferred. This automatism can be overridden an a per project basis using the "User Properties" dialog.

coverage.py

This is a tool to check Python code coverage. A slightly modified version is part of the eric6 distribution. The original version is available from <http://www.nedbatchelder.com/code/modules/coverage.html>

profile

This is part of the standard Python distribution and is used to profile Python source code.

11. Internationalization

eric6 and its tools are prepared to show the UI in different languages, which can be configured via the preferences dialog. The Qt and QScintilla translations are searched in the translations directory given in the preferences dialog (Qt page). If the translations cannot be found, some part of the MMI might show English texts even if you have selected something else. If you are missing eric6 translations for your language and are willing to volunteer for this work please send me an email naming the country code and I will send you the respective Qt-Linguist file.

12. Window Layout

eric6 provides a configurable window layout. The visibility of the various tool panes can be configured. The position of the shell pane may be configured as well.

13. Source code documentation

eric6 has a built in source code documentation generator, which is usable via the commandline as well. For further details please see the file README-eric6-doc.rst.

14. Included Tools

eric6 comes with a long list of tools. These can be started via the eric6 tray starter or directly via the commandline. They are available from within the IDE. The included tools are (sorted alphabetically):

14. License

eric6 (and the others) is released under the conditions of the GPLv3. See separate license file LICENSE.GPL3 for more details. Third party software included in eric6 is released under their respective license and contained in the eric6 distribution for convenience.

15. Bugs and other reports

Please send bug reports, feature requests or contributions to eric bugs address. After the IDE is installed you can use the "Report Bug..." entry of the Help menu, which will send an email to <eric-bugs@eric-ide.python-projects.org>. To request a new feature use the "Request Feature..." entry of the Help menu, which will send an email to <eric-featurerequest@eric-ide.python-projects.org>.

Alternatively bugs may be reported via the eric6 issue tracker at <https://die-offenbachs.homelinux.org/issues/>.