Python is open source scripting engine and there are many free and paid IDEs that can hook into the engine and debug. I guess you can search and experiment with what is out there in the internet. Maybe you can find an easier way to make it work.
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Debugging with Aptana Studio
I have experimented with Aptana Studio (http://www.aptana.com/products/studio3/download.html) which is a version of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclipse_(software)
Aptana is an IDE that allows you to manage Python projects and can debug remote python engines like Vectorworks. It includes PyDev (http://pydev.org/) for that which, by itself, is a plug-in to do python in Eclipse.
Anyway, you can remote debug, and here is how: http://pydev.org/manual_adv_remote_debugger.html
Here is the setup procedure:
- Install Python 3.3 runtime (http://www.python.org/download/) I’ll hook Aptana to this version later. This is technically not necessary, but I prefer to have it so Aptana could report syntax errors while editing.
- Install Aptana Studio 3 (http://www.aptana.com/products/studio3/download.html)
- Run Aptana and specify a workspace directory outside Vectorworks path. This is VERY important for the reason that workspace directory will contain a ton of files that start with ‘.’. If this path is visible by Vectorworks, it will make it launch very slowly (from traversing all these files and sub-folders)
- Now, you can create a project. File -> New -> Project... > General
- Only the first time, this process would require to setup Python engine. Now, let the software find the python and set it up automatically: Preferences > PyDev > Interpreters > Python Interpreter, click on "Advanced Auto-Config" and select the Python 3.3 you just installed in step 1. We wont actually use it, but will let Aptana use it to syntax check.
The way the debug works is to use the remote debugger of Aptana: http://pydev.org/manual_adv_remote_debugger.html
First, you must include an import to the PyDev remote debugger in your script. The Python Sample Menu Command contains commented code that enables PyDev debugger.
import pydevd pydevd.settrace(suspend=False)
Then your script will fail because the 'pydevd' module is not found.
To fix that you must point Vectorworks' Python to the correct environment path to find the missing module.
Go to the Vectorworks menu Tools -> Plug-ins -> Script Options and add an environment path to the needed Folder location:
- Win example: D:\Aptana Studio 3\plugins\org.python.pydev_126.96.36.1993012902\pysrc
- Mac example: /Applications/Aptana Studio 3/plugins/org.python.pydev_188.8.131.528187472/
- You may need to change that to the place where you have installed the Aptana Studio application.
Then you go to Aptana Studio and enable the remote debugger (http://pydev.org/manual_adv_remote_debugger.html) and run your script in Vectorworks.
Python basic information: Python