PYTHON BASICS

The Python programming language has a wide range of syntactical constructions, standard library functions, and interactive development environment features. Fortunately, you can ignore most of that; you just need to learn enough to write some handy little programs.

PYTHON BASICS

What is Python?

Python is a high-level general-purpose programming language.

It was created by Guido van Rossum, and released in 1991.

It is used for:

  • web development (server-side),
  • software development,
  • mathematics,
  • 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 production-ready software development.

Why Python?

  • Python works on different platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, etc).
  • Python has a simple syntax similar to the English language.
  • Python has a 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 procedurally, in an object-oriented way, or in 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.

Example

By using indentation and whitespace to organize the code, Python code gains the following advantages:

  • First, you’ll never miss the beginning or ending code of a block like in other programming languages such as Java or C#.
  • Second, the coding style is essentially uniform. If you have to maintain another developer’s code, that code looks the same as yours.
  • Third, the code is more readable and clear in comparison with other programming languages.

Summary

  • Python is a high-level general-purpose programming language
  • Python can be used to create a web app or software.
  • Python can also be used for rapid prototyping and handling big data 
  • Python works on different platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, etc).
  • Python is a simple and straightforward language
  • A Python statement ends with a newline character.
  • Python uses spaces and indentation to organize its code structure.
  • Identifiers are names that identify variables, functions, modules, classes, etc. in Python.
  • Comments describe why the code works. They are ignored by the Python interpreter.
  • Use the single quote, double-quotes, Tripple-quotes, or Tripple double-quotes to denote