Software tools

Spring 2015Spring 2016

The course is divided into two parts.

The first part deals with the basics of Python and is taught using Anaconda and Offline Python Tutor.

1.  Anaconda (Python 3.4)

Anaconda is an easy to use Python distribution with a built-in IDE called Spyder. It's a hassle-free tool for beginners to get started in Python.

2.  Offline Python Tutor

Online Python Tutor is an online visualization tool widely used to understand how a Python code executes. Due to problems with on-campus internet, we needed a version of this tool that could work without any internet. That's where Offline Python Tutor comes into picture; it requires no internet connection to work.

To use it, download it, and extract the folder in some convenient location. Then open file in it in Anaconda and then run it. It will probably give you an error. This is because to run Offline Python Tutor, bottle framework needs to installed first.

To install bottle, open Anaconda command Window and then type:

conda install pip

Follow the prompts and install pip. Once it's done, type:

pip install bottle

Follow the prompts and install bottle.

Once that's done, run file again in Anaconda. This time, it will run without any problems. Paste the following URL


in your browser and press enter. This will load Offline Python Tutor in your browser and it will work without any internet connectivity. Furthermore, we have removed all distractions such as surveys etc. from our offline version. So enjoy a clean, distraction-free learning environment.

The second part of the course deals with graphical user interface design and was taught using Balsamiq, PyCharm, and PyQt

1. Balsamiq Mockups

Balsamiq is a tool to create mockups of GUIs. Designing mockups is the first stage in designing a graphical user interface. It gives the designer a clear idea of how the final GUI would look like and what functionalities will it have.

2. PyCharm

PyCharms is the IDE we used to develop the GUIs. We tried to use Spyder, but it was a fail.

3. PyQt4 (32-bit version)

PyQt4 is a library that can be used to design GUIs from the building blocks contained in it.

4. Python 3.4 (32-bit version)

You can't use Python installed within Anaconda. For GUI development, we recommend that you install Python 3.4 separately. Remember to use this Python as the project interpreter in PyCharm.


We are currently planning the tools for spring 2016 session. Stay tuned!