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Introduction

First, off Python usually requires some setup by downloading the Python IDLE. The Python IDLE is basically a text editor that lets you execute Python code. If you want to use Python as a server-side language, you certainly can. Python can output HTML just like other languages can, but Python is more commonly used as a module rather than intertwined like some PHP or ColdFusion. As for right now, I recommend you download the IDLE to help you debug your code while we learn the fundamentals offline. One really quick note, we are using python 3.2. Before we go to an example, please understand that Python is space sensitive. This means you must have 4 spaces for each indentation every single time. We’ll get into this more later, now let’s go to an example.

Example
print ("My first Python code!")
print ("easier than I expected")
Result My first Python Code!
easier than I expected

You can see right off the bat, that we use print() a whole lot. Basically, all it does is output whatever is inside the parentheses. You will be doing lots of printing so, you can get more comfortable with it as we go. Print is a function that we will go into later, but just understand that it can take a value. On the first line, we provide a string value “My first Python code!”, which is a string because of the quotes. So, you just told Python to output that string to the console. Python completes that task and moves onto the next line where it prints out a different string.

See how simple that was? Well, get used to it. Python is probably one of the simplest looking languages that can do some of the most powerful things you can imagine. You can see from the example how clean Python’s syntax is without all of the extra stuff that other languages add. That covers the easiest Python statement you will ever write. In the following sections, we will be using more advanced functions and teaching you the fundamentals of Python.



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89 thoughts on “Introduction”

  1. Hey, this page says “For a more tangible and better look into the Python language, consider reading the following book. It’s an excellent read.”

    But the book must have been removed accidentally. Don’t leave me hangin’!

  2. Suggestion: If you have any kind of control on the code simulator, it would make much more sense to have the result pane AFTER the coding pane. This to avoid scrolling up and down to check result.

    Thanks

  3. Hi, in IDLE I am only able to execute one statement at a time. This means that I am unable to complete this example. Is there a different IDE that I should be using?

  4. Try this out….
    a = (“My first Python code “)
    b = (“it’s easier than I expected!”)
    print(a+b)

    Notice the space after the word “code”. Try without the space.

  5. I am using Python 2.7.6 on my Ubuntu 14 machine. Will at least most of the commands be the same as 3.x?

    I am using Python IDLE to practice. When I type in 1 line of code and hit “enter” to move to the next line, it runs the line of code I wrote e.g.

    >>>print (” My first line of Python code!”)
    My first line of Python code!
    >>>print (“easier than I expected”)
    easier than I expected

    The same thing happens when I am running Python in the Terminal Window. How do I get to the next line without running the code? Is the only way to use a test editor?

  6. The next day. i tried again. but this time. with C++. my sister and my dad came in at the same time ravageously. i jumped out the window. my life is now more ruined

  7. Great tutorials, i have searched for quite a while to find a tutorial that is aimed at beginners, most assume you have some programming knowledge and seem to get you lost but this one is much more straight forward. Keep up the good work.

  8. Lovely tutorial! The ‘Great’ rating doesn’t even begin to describe how relieved I feel.

    I had tried previously to learn Python by using the built-in terminal on my Mac, by typing ‘Python’ and then ‘help’, but as I thought, it only provided definitions of terms, and not any real help. I also tried many online video tutorials and even the ‘official’ Python website’s tutorial (with some major successes), but the website kept using language I had not yet learned so the vast majority of the time I spent trying learn, I didn’t understand the exceptions to lists and functions etc., and other informations that is important to know if you’d like to learn this language.

    This tutorial is PERFECT for beginners or somewhat-novices like me, and I think I have finally found the best way to learn HTML and (if they have the tutorial) C, after Python.

    Thank you for a great website and an easy, productive tutorial!

  9. Great,but pls i am using python 3.3.3 and wheneve it starts it shows something like this
    >>> i can only make one command at a time because if i should make a second command it says syntax error,pls help

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