I'm somewhat reluctant to discuss the matter here; I'm not a free software integralist by any means (like for example posting from a beautiful MacBook Air, with OS X), still when discussing commercial software I feel a vague sense of guilt because I feel like I am doing advertisement. This is especially true as most of the times there it does not involve only reporting facts (which would be acceptable, as the truth tends to be true, even if in favor of a commercial entity) but impressions, which could make me seem biased.
These are the most interesting improvements I found in PyCharm/IntelliJ (it should be clear when stuff applies only to one of the two -- and amazingly enough, the what's new page on PyCharm is more detailed):
- Support for pypy (this is going to be immensely important for me, as I'm planning to move part of my development environment on pypy)
- Support for ipython (more on this later)
- Cython support (which may be something I'll be using soon enough)
- Git graphs (been a bit of a PITA lately to remember the proper log options to have them in the console, my memory ain't what it used to be)
- Gist support (I love that)
Eventually, I want to point out a feature I was sorely missing in all environments I tried, i.e., choosing the method to step into when debugging. First, I'm not the kind of guy that spends lots of time in the debugger (see., that would be a clear smell on the quality of my unit tests). But when I do, I often feel rather boring having to walk step by step irrelevant code.
my_object.that_is_some_method( ILuvDIP(...), self.that_is_interesting(), self.may_be_a_property)
and suppose that I feel the bug is in that_is_interesting. Now, it may well be that my Python debugging skills are not excellent. Afterall only recently I stopped instrumenting my code with prints and always use a proper debugger. Before that I relied almost only on unittests and prints.
Before PyCharm 2, it was hard to step into that_is_interesting and not in ILuvDIP. I believe that the same logic also applies to Java and IntelliJ and hopefully to Clojure. Then, back to us.
I really ain't lots of problems with IntelliJ. I feel that an IDE is a very valuable asset when developing Java. In fact, I would say it is a PITA to do without. Perhaps with Emacs and some modules like JDEE. Still, I don't know... I try to avoid Emacs these days (as I'm finding vi more and more natural to me).
The question is more interesting regarding Clojure and Python (and Ruby...). Probably if I would use Django a lot, PyCharm would be a clear winner. Support is awesome and you have to work in a frameworkish way in any case. There is nothing wrong with that, of course.
These days I'm mostly writing library/algorithmic code in Python. And I feel like ipython+vim is a great tool here. It's got an almost Mathematica/Matlab vibe that is nice for what I'm doing. I also try using that approach with Clojure more often than not. Tests as documentation and specification, REPL as an integrated development environment. It is possible that with ipython builtin in PyCharm I could just move that workflow to PyCharm itself.
There is however, the issue of code complete. Emacs fares pretty well to complete Clojure, but as far as I remember is not so good regarding completing Java (perhaps I should have installed JDEE). As a consequence, I used IntelliJ a lot even with Clojure.
Recently, I started exploring Clojure+vim too. And it is a wonderful world. I have most of what I need and it is extremely lightweight. I have to investigate the issues further. However, IntelliJ remains a solid environment for Clojure development.
Now the essential question is... I quite need IntelliJ for Java. And having it working with Clojure is a big plus (even if maybe not a strict necessity). But should I buy a separate PyCharm or just rely on IntelliJ plugin?