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Microsoft Python Tools for Visual Studio 2.1 Beta

The aftermath of Microsoft's Build 2014 continues to leave a certain taste in the mouth. Perhaps among the better flavors lingering on the palette is the release of the Node.js Tools for Visual Studio 1.0 Beta, followed by a subsequent announcement from Microsoft publicizing the availability of Python Tools for Visual Studio 2.1 Beta.

Although there has already been support for the Python programming language in Azure for some time now, Python Tools for Visual Studio hopes to provide programmers with good karma when performing general scripting, web programming, and technical computing.

The new tools also support new web frameworks including Bottle and Flask; improve editing of Django templates; integrate with publishing on Microsoft Azure web sites; and feature support for installing on Visual Studio Express for web and Windows Desktop.

Microsoft's corporate vice president of the Developer Division, S. Somasegar, points out the integrated IPython REPL support for smart history, shell commands, and inline images. He says that these tools provide a "great exploratory coding environment" and that Python developers will enjoy features like mixed mode debugging of Python with C++ and remote debugging of Linux servers in Azure, Visual Studio.

Where PTVS provides detailed IntelliSense and advanced debugging and profiling support, IPython enables easy sharing of "executable" notebooks comprised of mixed code, markdown, and graphics.

Microsoft has released the Python tools under an open source license (Apache 2.0) and will accept contributions from the developer community — developers can download Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) on CodePlex.

Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) has had support for Django since 1.5, including debugging of Django Templates — in this release Microsoft has added support for two new frameworks: Bottle and Flask, plus a "generic" web framework template that you can use for frameworks such as Pyramid.

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