Instructables

Python Tutorial No.1

Picture of Python Tutorial No.1
This is a Python tutorial made with the absolute beginner in mind.

A brief introduction to Python will serve to give you a basic understanding of the history and what it is, before we move on to lessons.

What is Python?
Taken from www.python.org:

Python is a dynamic object-oriented programming language that can be used for many kinds of software development. It offers strong support for integration with other languages and tools, comes with extensive standard libraries, and can be learned in a few days.Many Python programmers report substantial productivity gains and feel the languageencourages the development of higher quality, more maintainable code.

In other words, Python is easy to learn, read, and write, ensuring that you'll be able to understand what you wrote a few months after you wrote it.

A Brief History of Python.

Python was conceived in the late 1980s by Guido van Rossum in the Netherlands as a successor of the ABC programming language, and it soon gathered popularity, especially after it was released under the GPL in version 1.6.1.
Today, some of the largest projects that use Python are the Zope application server, and the original BitTorrent client. It is also extensively used by Google and NASA.

Note: This instructable is being actively edited and improved by it's author(ZN13) and collaborator(Hugo.B) so please be patient and keep visiting, you'll find learning Python a rewarding experience.

ZN13 Hugo.B
 
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Step 1: Download Python

To program in Python you'll need to download the Python libraries, and
the Integrated DeveLopment Environment, IDLE

As of 16/6/07, the release is version 2.5.1
Python Download here.

We'll assume that you are using windows here, but if you're using any
Linux-based OS, it'll likely already have it installed.
To find out, open console/konsole/terminal(varies with distro), and type
python. If it is installed, the Python command-line will open up.

After you have installed it, go Start>All Programs>Python>IDLE and we'll get started!
jf782 years ago
**Correction: as of Python 3.x "raw_input" is no longer working. For string input use "input()" or for a number use "eval(input())"
The way I was taught about variables, the best way to imagine it is by analogy. Imagine having a room full of little strips of paper, each one with a single number, bit of text, etc. written of it. If you want to find the strip with the information you want, it would be pretty hard, because it's impossible to know which contains which. To solve this problem, you put each strip of paper in a cardboard box with a name printed on the front. You could make a strip with the number of car Ford has made in the last year written on it, put it in a box labeled "number of cars", and then if you wanted to recall it, go to the box with that label and look inside.

The strips of paper are places in the memory of the computer. Variables are given names, so that you can use the name as shorthand for whatever the value of the variable is; you use the same name regardless of what the current value is, so we call them "variables" (because they vary


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wizerd 7454 years ago
Can't wait till you can continue work on this!
So far so good
ReCreate5 years ago
hmm...good,I finally get how it works,i learned a few functions
pyroboy2126 years ago
...-_-... kinda confusing....
ZN13 (author)  pyroboy2126 years ago
In what way? Maybe I can explain it a little better.
froggyman ZN135 years ago
I thought it was kool, just knid of looks like it was copied from another site....
koldfyre6 years ago
Its just a tutorial about Python...Python's cool and he explained what this tut was...
Hugo.B7 years ago
Please be patient, this instructable is being actively upgraded, continue visiting, and submit any bugs/errors/mistakes to ZN13 or I. This is intended to be a comprehensive starter's guide to Python. Thanks for visiting. H.B.
?? what is this...??
ZN13 (author)  !Andrew_Modder!7 years ago
I guess by "this", you mean python. Just look down.
mrfubar7 years ago
cool, I did not know about the input() command. But it allows you to run arbitrary code... not what you wanted to do just to read a number from the user.
for example, if you had the os module already loaded with import os...
>>> input("num:")num:os.system("echo fubar")fubar0

you can run an arbitrary shell command in the os.
me7 years ago
maybe you can first tell us what it is and then start the tutorial
Ora me7 years ago
Stolen from Wikipedia "Python is a high-level programming language first released by Guido van Rossum in 1991. Python is designed around a philosophy which emphasizes the importance of programmer effort over computer effort, and it prioritizes readability over speed or expressiveness. Python is often characterized as minimalist, although this only applies to the core language's syntax and semantics; the standard library provides the language with a large number of additional libraries and extensions."
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