Variables explorer


Provide something like the "Variable explorer" in the Spyder IDE. It essentially is just a list very similar to the say the "Locals" debug window in VS showing all the variables that one defined in the interactive window. In Matlab the equivalent window is called "Workspace". Having this would make the whole IDE very, very competitive for numerical work.

A simple first version could just have the same features as the "Locals" window. A more advanced version could have nicer features for e.g. numpy arrays, like table editors, plotting etc.


goodwincp wrote Dec 28, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Having a variables explorer would be an excellent addition to PTVS. I'm in the process of converting from R to Python + Pandas. That is one of the features I miss. With R I used both Rstudio and Eclipse + StatET - both of which had very good object browsers and can display large dataframes in addition to simple scalers and other objects. In both exploratory and development work, having a quick look at transformed data resulting from some groupby(), agg(), pivot_table() functions is extremely useful.

Inside VS, we already have server explorer, which can show tables fro SQL server. Seems like the same table views could be leveraged for dataframes?

Add my vote for this feature - I think it would really be a great addition!

Thanks PTVS team!

Randall Goodwin

PS: the other thing I miss most about R is Lattice. I cannot (as easily) duplicate charts with panel functions fore regressions, density elipses, carefully positioned text (in native, pixels or 0,1 coordinate systems)> Whish list (after all it is the holidays) would be to have the programmability of Lattice + speed of OpenGL (or DirectX) in rendering.

Leftierebel wrote Feb 28 at 11:46 PM

This would be so useful! I'm converting from Matlab and I've been using Spyder IDE, and while I think they've done a fair job, the PTVS has definitely been my favorite IDE I've found so far...except the lack of a variable explorer. I work with a lot of images/numpy arrays and having an explorer would allow people like me to use PTVS for simple prototyping (or messing around, whatever you want to call it).

Adding something like this would definitely appeal to those of us in the scientific python arena.

Keep up the great work; I'm loving what this project is becoming.


Ptools wrote Mar 1 at 12:08 AM

This is definitely on the list for the next major release (> 2.1). This release (2.1) we're focusing on web frameworks. next one will be more technical computing focused. improving the repl (history, etc.), a variable explorer, ... are all on the list. look out for a Survey that will go out when we start planning the features for the 3.0!


goodwincp wrote Mar 1 at 1:26 AM

Great to hear! Really looking forward to the post 2.1 releases :). Since I posted just two months ago, more and more of our group is programming with Python, Pandas & friends with VS 2013 and PTVS. A few people in our group have mentioned PyCharm, and looking at the videos, it does appear to be very feature rich. However, since our applications core UI is C# .NET / WPF using PRISM and MEF and we are using TFS for source control, I would prefer we stay on the VS 2013 / TFS / PTVS stack for the Python code too.

Keep the momentum and releases coming fast!

Randall Goodwin

Ptools wrote Mar 2 at 7:25 AM

that's great to hear.

we're looking for a few ppl to chat with regarding technical computing type scenarios. would you be interested in discussing your usage under nda? if so please drop me a line at ptvshelp@microsoft.com. thanks in advance.

re pycharm - it's a pretty good IDE indeed. as you mention, if you already use VS, or have multilingual solutions, or need features like mixed python/c++ debugging, PTVS is a good option.