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[Beginners] Python Q's

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I am sure that when some advanced and intermediate users will sigh and close their browsers, but please keep reading.

I have some basic questions about Python;
  • Is Python easy to learn (I only know HTML and CSS, no other languages, apart from dabbling in C++)
  • What's the best programme to develop Python in?
  • What's the best book, in your opinion, to learn Python.
  • Is it still used by experienced programmers, and by companies?
  • What can you actually develop with it?
  • Are their any "good" programs that have been developed in Python?

Cheers guys !
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post #2 of 6
The most important thing to consider when choosing a language is what you are producing. What do you need to do that involves programming? Python is one of the most common beginner languages for a reason, but it has its drawbacks and strengths like every other language. Tell us more about what you'll be using it for.
post #3 of 6
Python is good for pretty much anything if you aren't concerned about performance (at all). It's pretty slow (as is expected of an interpreted language), but intuitive and very convenient. You can make GUI apps in it or 2D games or whatever.

Python is THE language used for quick prototyping of a small idea or a proof of concept. It's also often used as a way to quickly do tedious tasks, by writing scripts or exposing a lower level interface (i.e. functions from a C library) into Python, allowing programmers to try things conveniently day-to-day.
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post #4 of 6
Ever used Deluge, the torrent client?

Written in Python.

I believe uTorrent is as well.

The Civilization series uses Python for scripting and modifying the game.
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post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshd View Post
I am sure that when some advanced and intermediate users will sigh and close their browsers, but please keep reading.

I have some basic questions about Python;
  • Is Python easy to learn (I only know HTML and CSS, no other languages, apart from dabbling in C++)

    Yes. Compared to most other languages it's very easy to learn. It has clear syntax and use of indentation which make the code easy to read. It also has interactive console where you can test things on the fly. It also sorts out most of the lower level stuff for you.

  • What's the best programme to develop Python in?

    Eclipse with PyDev is pretty good, but you can use pretty much any text editor.

  • What's the best book, in your opinion, to learn Python.

    If you want to buy a book, then "Learning Python" is the most recommended one to start with. There's a lot of online resources though including official documentation where you can learn.

  • Is it still used by experienced programmers, and by companies?

    Yes. I work at a scientific laboratory where most of the things are done in Python. Contrary to popular belief Python is pretty fast and a lot of its processing is actually done by compiled C code inside the interpreter. Still when some huge numbers crunching is necessary we usually use C, but development speed of python programs makes it a preferred choice for simpler tasks.

    Google uses Python quite a lot in its web search. Big part of YouTube is written in Python. Also companies like CISCO, HP, IBM, NASA or Pixar use Python for different purposes.


  • What can you actually develop with it?

    http://www.python.org/about/apps/

  • Are their any "good" programs that have been developed in Python?

    Hmm... BitTorrent? I can't think about any that are written in pure Python, as it is often used to integrate different components of the system, but some that make extensive use of it are: YouTube, EVE Online, Battlefield 2, Maya, Blender.

Cheers guys !
See above.
Edited by poroboszcz - 10/7/11 at 7:14am
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. That's exactly the response I wanted.

I will use it to learn the basics of programming, and make some simple stuff. Then hopefully move onto more complex languages.

Cheers,
Josh.
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