What is Python?
Python is a popular programming language. It was created by Guido van Rossum, and released in 1991.
It is used for:
- web development (server-side),
- software development,
- system scripting.
What can Python do?
- Python can be used on a server to create web applications.
- Python can be used alongside software to create workflows.
- Python can connect to database systems. It can also read and modify files.
- Python can be used to handle big data and perform complex mathematics.
- Python can be used for rapid prototyping, or for production-ready software development.
- Python works on different platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, etc).
- Python has a simple syntax similar to the English language.
- Python has syntax that allows developers to write programs with fewer lines than some other programming languages.
- Python runs on an interpreter system, meaning that code can be executed as soon as it is written. This means that prototyping can be very quick.
- Python can be treated in a procedural way, an object-oriented way or a functional way.
Python Syntax compared to other programming languages
- Python was designed for readability, and has some similarities to the English language with influence from mathematics.
- Python uses new lines to complete a command, as opposed to other programming languages which often use semicolons or parentheses.
- Python relies on indentation, using whitespace, to define scope; such as the scope of loops, functions and classes. Other programming languages often use curly-brackets for this purpose.
How to Install Python.
Many PCs and Macs will have python already installed.
To check if you have python installed on a Windows PC, search in the start bar for Python or run the following on the Command Line (cmd.exe):
C:\Users\Your Name>python –version
To check if you have python installed on a Linux or Mac, then on linux open the command line or on Mac open the Terminal and type:
If you find that you do not have Python installed on your computer, then you can download it for free from the following website: https://www.python.org/
Python is an interpreted programming language, this means that as a developer you write Python (.py) files in a text editor and then put those files into the python interpreter to be executed.
The way to run a python file is like this on the command line:
C:\Users\Your Name>python helloworld.py
Where “helloworld.py” is the name of your python file.
Let’s write our first Python file, called helloworld.py, which can be done in any text editor.