Which version of VPython should I use?

For the introductory physics course:

We strongly recommend GlowScript VPython (glowscript.org).  Here’s why:

  • No installation is required — students work in a browser
  • Students do not need to cope with folders and file extensions — all work is stored in the cloud
  • The interface is simple and straightforward
  • Programs in a student’s public folder can be shared simply by giving a URL

Students who have no previous experience coding are comfortable working in this familiar environment.

One can make a VPython “trinket” at trinket.io by selecting “GlowScript” and choosing “Python” or “Blocks”.

For a more advanced physics or computational physics course:

We recommend using VPython 7 either in a Jupyter Notebook or in an IDE such as Spyder.

  • Learning to install Python and VPython is appropriate for students at this level
  • A standard Python installation such as Anaconda provides access to the full Python ecology of scientific computational modules (which are not available in GlowScript VPython).
  • More sophisticated editing and debugging tools are available

See vpython.org for details on how to install and use VPython 7 with Anaconda.