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Beginner's Guide to Python
s New to programming? Python is free, and easy to learn if you know where to start! This guide will help you to get started quickly.
New to Python?
- Read ["BeginnersGuide/Overview"] to learn the key points.
- First, you need to get the Python interpreter installed on your computer. (This is the program that reads Python programs and carries out their instructions; you need it before you can do any Python programming.) See ["BeginnersGuide/Download"] for instructions for downloading the correct version of Python.
You'll want to select a [http://www.python.org/moin/PythonEditors text editor] that has support for Python.
Need to know how to run programs? See [http://www.python.org/doc/faq/windows.html#how-do-i-run-a-python-program-under-windows How do I Run a Program Under Windows] (Unix/Linux users are assumed, perhaps incorrectly, to be familiar with the necessary techniques).
- Next, you're going to want to read a tutorial and try some simple experiments with your new Python interpreter.
If you've never programmed before, see ["BeginnersGuide/NonProgrammers"].
- If you have previous programming experience, consult ["BeginnersGuide/Programmers"], which lists more advanced tutorials.
Free Python video lectures are also available ["Intro to programming with Python and Tkinter"], though they're only viewable on Windows. Requires a DivX player, available from http://www.divx.com/divx/windows/.
If English isn't your first language, you might be more comfortable with a tutorial that's been translated into your language. Consult python.org's [http://www.python.org/doc/NonEnglish.html list of Non-English resources].
- Once you've read a tutorial, you can browse through
[http://www.python.org/doc/ Python's online documentation]. It includes [http://www.python.org/doc/current/tut/ a tutorial] that may be helpful, [http://www.python.org/doc/current/lib/ a Library Reference] that lists all of the modules that come standard with Python, and [http://www.python.org/doc/current/ref/ the Language Reference] for a complete (if rather dry) explanation of Python's syntax.
Most Python books will include an introduction; see IntroductoryBooks for suggested titles.
- Consult ["BeginnersGuide/Examples"] for small programs and little snippets of code that can help you learn.
- Need help from a human? Read ["BeginnersGuide/Help"] for mailing lists and newsgroups.
- Or, you can pay for a Python course; see ["BeginnersGuide/Courses"] for a list.
Teachers can join the [http://www.python.org/sigs/edu-sig/ EDU-SIG], a mailing list for discussion of Python's use in teaching at any level ranging from K-12 up to university.
Looking for a particular Python module or application?
The first place to look is the [http://www.python.org/pypi/ Python Package Index].
- If you can't find anything relevant in the Package Index,
try [http://www.python.org/search/ searching python.org] - you can find anything mentioned on the Python site, in the [http://www.python.org/doc/faq/ FAQs], or in the newsgroup. More info: [http://www.python.org/search/#help where to search].
Next, try [http://www.google.com Google] or other search engine of your choice. Searching for "python" and some relevant keywords will usually find something helpful.
- Finally, you can try posting a query to the comp.lang.python Usenet group.
Want to contribute?
Python is a product of the [http://www.python.org/psf/ Python Software Foundation], a non-profit organization that holds the copyright. [http://www.python.org/psf/donations.html Donations to the PSF] are tax-deductible in the USA, and you can donate via credit card or PayPal.
To report a bug in the Python core, use the [http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=5470&atid=105470 Python Bug Tracker] at SourceForge.
- To contribute a bug fix or other patch to the Python
core, read the [http://www.python.org/dev/ Python Developer's Guide] for more information about Python's development process.
To contribute to the official [http://www.python.org/doc/ Python documentation], join the [http://www.python.org/sigs/doc-sig/ Documentation SIG], write to firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the [http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=5470&atid=305470 Patch Manager] to contribute a documentation patch.
- To announce your module or application to the Python community,
use [news:comp.lang.python.announce comp.lang.python.announce]. See [http://www.python.org/community/lists.html#comp-lang-python-announce the guide to Python mailing lists] for more information.
To propose changes to the python core, post your thoughts to [news:comp.lang.python comp.lang.python]. If you have an implementation, follow the [http://www.python.org/patches/ Python Patch Guidelines].