Python Tutorial 1 – Getting Python

Python programming language logoPython object-oriented programming language at uni in ITB001: Problem Solving and Programming, I figure what better way to solidify what I am learning than to write about it. Someone might find it useful as well.

So if you see anything that is wrong, or anything like that, feel free to point it out, I won’t bite.

First up, you have to get Python, this is pretty straightforward, but I may as well make it the first of my tutorials since it is necessary.

If you use OS X, it comes with it, as do some Linux distributions, though it may be outdated. Grab the latest version for OS X, or Unix based operating systems, or Python for Windows from the Python website.

The install is pretty straight forward and should have you up and running in no time, just follow the instructions, all of the defaults should be fine.

After it is installed, when you run the Python Shell (IDLE), it should bring up a window called IDLE. This is Python’s interpreter window, so anything you run will be evaluated here. You can type directly into IDLE, however it is limited to writing a line at a time which is slow and painful and cannot be saved. It is really only effective for checking a line of code here and there.

If you go to File > New Window, it will open up a blank window. These windows can be saved as .py files and are where you will write the majority of code. You can write as many lines as you want in these and then have Python evaluate them whenever you are ready.

If you want to get straight into Python, the best documentation I have seen personally, and also as recommended by my lecturer, is the documentation material available on the Python website.

I will be going through Python in the same sequence as I have been going through it at uni. So stay tuned and the next tutorial will be up soon.

If you want to leave any thoughts or input, it would be greatly appreciated.

Go on to the next tutorial, Numeric Expressions In Python.

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