13. RAD2PY: platform+IDE for solid & predictable Rapid Application Development

Audience level:
Best Practices/Patterns
March 11th 8 a.m. – 8:05 a.m.


Can we develop software faster without compromising quality, schedule or cost? Do we have the right tools? Do we measure and estimate well? Are we good developers? This research attempts to answer these concerns, combining automated statistical methods with a lightweight but complete IDE for wx/web2py, alternative to IDLE resembling VB, for QA & self-improvement using Personal Software Process.


This project is aimed to provide a simple, feature-full and totally integrated IDE tool for Python (specifically something similar to Visual Basic classic, knowing its drawbacks and lesson learned after using it). To prevent common pitfalls of Rapid Application Development, this aproach will follow Personal Software Process guidelines to measure and gather metrics in order to help to estimate and improve quality.

The goal of this project is to be as lightweight as possible, with a structure similar to IDLE, but solving its annoyances using a modern GUI toolkit and a web framework, integrating the Python development tool-chain. This work is being done initially as part of an academic research (degree thesis), and it is intended to be used either for educational purposes and in real world commercial applications.

Further information at: http://code.google.com/p/rad2py/

Poster outline


Current similar tools

2nd and 3rd generation PSP tools (Java):

Proposed solution

"4th generation PSP tool": rad2py is a platform (foundations -methodology and process- + framework + tools) including:

  • ide2py: integrated IDE with automatic metric collection
  • psp2py: web app to track historical data and estimation
  • web2py: framework to develop web apps (enhancements required)
  • gui2py: framework to develop GUI apps using web2py and wxPython


  • Python tools and libraries used/inspired by: IDLE / PythonWin, wx.STC, PDB, wx.Py, PythonCard, PyFlakes/PEP8, Py2Exe, etc.
  • Why web2py as framework? uniques features that made this possible at this stage
  • Why wxpython as gui toolkit? advanced python-made features and interesting alternatives
  • Architectural diagram and internal design details

ide2py major modules:

  • main.py: AUI/MDI, .ini, PyAUIFrame + mixins
  • editor.py: wx.STC: syntaxis, autocompletion, basic calltips
  • browser.py: webkit (gtk/linux) or ie (windows)
  • shell.py: wx.Py (wx.PyShell): integrated to console and debugger
  • debugger.py: bdb, single thread/process (~ IDLE and PythonWin)
  • repo.py + repo_hg.py: Mercurial tree + change notifies
  • web2py.py: embedded WSGI webserver (mainloop)
  • psp.py: defect list, time grid, toolbar (shelve/pickle -> simplejsonrpc)
  • wxpydiff.py: integrated visual diff tool

Current Status

  • Progress report: Roadmap
  • Issues found & lessons learned
  • Initial conclusion and topics where help is needed

Field experiments

Projects to be developed to gather metrics for empirical validation:

"Zero Defects" Challenge:

You could help testing this tools and sending statistical data to formally prove the hypothesis of this research regarding that quality software can be developed faster with Python! Also, not only you'll be teaching/learning python, you'll be practising sound software engineering principles to see if you can improve your skills, I bet you will ;-)

Details to be defined


ide2py debugging an web2py app


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