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Python Learning Progress Part 1

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Ok, so last time I mentioned that I began learning Python. with the Zed Shaw’s Learn Python The Hard Way as a guide, so far, it has been a pretty good experience. So, in this blog, I will try to summarize what I learned by trying to explain it in a way that I think easy to understand, in doing that I hope I can get more understanding about it.

Before I begin, let me say my impression with it so far. With C++ as the first programming language I learned, and the majority of my codes written in fully object oriented language such as Java and C#, I find a scripting language such as Python to be “different”. To begin with, the dynamic typed variables, where a variable can be of any type, an integer, a floating point number, a string, or even a function. Most people says this is one of Python’s strength, but so far, I haven’t been able to figure out how this will help me in creating programs other than creating some confusion. Maybe its just me that hasn’t reached the point where I can actually take advantage of a dynamically type language such as Python.

Anyway, lets go back to the main topic where I will try to explain Python in a way where I find easy to understand. I wont be talking about the installation of the Python, since its pretty straight forward both on Windows and Linux. So I will start with the coding part.

Like most programming language guide, I will begin with a simple hello world application. The hello world in Python is very simple.

print "Hello, World"

That’s all, save it as with a .py extension, and run the command python filename.py in the cmd/terminal to run it. Another alternative is to run command python in the cmd/terminal to enter the python shell, where the python commands can be entered and run like a command prompt instruction.

The print statement is pretty straight forward, it will produce the output to the screen. Each of the print statement will print the output in a new line, so,

#These will print these two things on a different line
print "Hello,"
print "Its a wonderful world"

Will print ‘Hello, World’ and ’It’s a wonderful world.’ in a separate line, and by the way, the ‘#’ characters comments out the line, so that it will be ignored by the Python interpreter. Math are also very simple, as usual, combinations of operators and number will do the job.

print 2+(3-1)*9

The variables in python are dynamically typed, so a variable can be an integer, a string, or any other type depending on the value.

x = 10
y = 5

#will print 15
print x+y

#and we can change it to a value of a different type
x = "Now this is a string"

#we can still print it in the same way
print x

This entry is posted in 2012.

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