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Jupyter vs Spyder. Which One Is Better for Python Programming?

· 6 min read
Oleg Kulyk

Jupyter vs Spyder. Which One Is  Better for Python Programming?

Programming has been at the heart of the massive technological developments that we have experienced over the past few decades or so. From data analysis to web development, programming languages such as Python have significantly aided technological innovation. In fact, the position of Python among the pantheon of programming languages is unique.

Most web developers and data scientists prefer to use Python as their primary programming language over other options. And if you’re one such person working with Python or considering doing so, it’s essential to use IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to make programming more efficient and convenient.

Jupyter and Spyder are one of the most popular forms of IDE among web developers. Both of them can make your programming faster and more accurate. But which one should you choose? Let’s do a comparative discussion between Jupyter vs Spyder and see which one’s the best IDE for Python.

What Is Jupyter?

Jupyter is an open-source IDE that allows users a wide range of customization and provides additional benefits for Python and other programming languages. Jupyter project, previously known as IPython, is an excellent programming tool because of its overall versatility and flexibility. If you’re new to Jupyter, you would be wise to take some help from one of the many expert Jupyter tutorials for a smooth start.

Uses of Jupyter

This IDE is pretty popular among data analysts because it enables users to visualize data, run codes, and add text simultaneously. Apart from Python, Jupyter is compatible with programming languages like C#, Ruby, PHP, etc. This IDE also gives you the opportunity to save and share your notebook publicly or privately with other users.

Pros of Using Jupyter

  • Jupyter increases efficiency and speed by combining multiple features such as coding, images, video animations, texts, and graphical plots into one document. It’s also easily sharable and accessible by other users.
  • Jupyter has a special tool called “nbconvert” that can convert notebooks into several readable formats.
  • Since this software is open-source, you can use it completely free and make various types of customizations according to your preferences.
  • To get the best out of Jupyter IDE, you can use useful extensions to make your work a lot easier. For instance, you can install Cython magic functions that can help you write Cython codes in your notebook as well.
  • Jupyter Notebook is an effective tool for learning and teaching. Along with data analysis and research, Jupyter helps the students to learn to create blocks through IPython Blocks.
  • It can be a great tool for presenting your work to people with non-technical backgrounds.
  • Jupyter provides interactive coding by using ipywidgets packages that can help you explore and apply codes in a more interactive fashion.
  • Since it’s completely open source, you can obtain a free server with Jupyter. The server is also very secure and can store confidential data with ease.

Cons of Using Jupyter

  • Jupyter is not a good choice for large-scale projects. It’s more suitable for small projects and data analysis.
  • Jupyter is not a good choice for debugging. It’s more suitable for data analysis and visualization.
  • Sometimes Jupyter notebooks can create duplicate codes while writing codes in cells instead of objects or functions. When this happens, it can often ruin your flow of coding by getting out of sync.
  • Since it’s open-source, Jupyter might not be suitable for large companies and organizations because of the lack of customer support.
  • Large asynchronous tasks can be difficult to test with Jupyter.
  • Your data might be less protected on Jupyter compared to other IDEs.
  • Jupyter notebook doesn’t have features like code-style modification or linting.

What Is Spyder?

In 2009, Pierre Raybaut developed an IDE exclusively for Python which is currently known as Spyder. Just like Jupyter, it’s also an open-source user interface with some impressive features and tools. On top of that, it’s compatible with operating systems such as Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Many data scientists prefer to use Spyder because it’s incredibly useful for data analysis. Planning on using Spyder IDE? Learn how to use it properly to get a brief idea about Spyder IDE.

So, Spyder is a cross-platform IDE that’s compatible with Python 2 and 3. It’s a free and open-source IDE that’s developed by the Python community. Spyder is a great choice for data scientists and web developers because it’s a powerful IDE that can help you write codes faster and more efficiently. It’s also a great tool for debugging and testing codes.

Features of Spyder

Spyder offers a wide range of features. For instance,

  • It provides features like vertical or horizontal splitting and automatic code-completing ability.
  • It gives data scientists additional advantages with multiple specialized features like NumPy.
  • It’s compatible with IPython.
  • You can run files, lines, and cells with interactive execution.

Pros of Using Spyder

  • This IDE can detect errors and give warning signs if it finds any mistakes. This feature helps developer to correct their mistakes.
  • PDB debugger is one of the biggest advantages of Spyder. It has the ability to change factors in every breakpoint. You can also connect with a large number of article references from all around the world.
  • Spyder allows you to test a certain code to see if it actually works. You can copy and paste the code to find out the output using this IDE.
  • With Spyder, you can add comments beside codes and the codes will run smoothly without any interruption.
  • Spyder has a variable explorer that allows you to store important variables in the kernel.
  • The file explorer option gives you the ability to browse files in designated directories. You can also change the file and folder location using this tool.
  • As a user, you can customize the interface according to your liking. All you have to do is go to the tools option and select preferences for enabling this feature.

Cons of Using Spyder

  • It’s only built for Python. Spyder is not compatible with other programming languages.
  • Spyder has a comparatively complex user interface and can be tough for beginners.
  • While working with frameworks like Pyspark, Spyder can get slow and laggy.

Final Verdict

Honestly, there is no clear winner in the Jupyter vs Spyder fight. Both of them have different benefits and features. For example, Jupyter is great at analyzing data. On the other hand, Spyder is an excellent tool for new python programmers to get things started.

So it all comes down to your needs. If you frequently work with data and present results from rigorous data analysis, the best option would be Jupyter IDE. But if you often apply new codes and mostly do the basic programming in Python, you should be fine with Spyder. You also have the option to switch between these two IDEs according to your needs.

Happy Web Scraping and don't forget to update your favourite IDEs to get the latest features and bug fixes 🪲

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