Beginner's Guide to Python
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"] for a short explanation of what Python is.
Next, install the Python interpreter 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.
At some stage, you'll want to edit and save your program code. Take a look at HowToEditPythonCode for some advice and recommendations.
Next, read a tutorial and try some simple experiments with your new Python interpreter.
If you've never programmed before, see ["BeginnersGuide/NonProgrammers"] for a list of suitable tutorials.
- If you have previous programming experience, consult ["BeginnersGuide/Programmers"], which lists more advanced tutorials.
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].
Most tutorials assume you know how to run a program on your computer. If you are using Windows and need help with this, 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].
Once you've read a tutorial, you can browse through [http://docs.python.org Python's online documentation]. It includes [http://docs.python.org/tut/ a tutorial] that may be helpful, [http://docs.python.org//lib/ a Library Reference] that lists all of the modules that come standard with Python, and [http://docs.python.org/ref/ the Language Reference] for a complete (if rather dry) explanation of Python's syntax.
When you are ready to write your first program you will need a text editor. To get started you can use any editor you are familiar with - even something like Notepad - but as you gain experience you may want to use a text editor with features that help you write Python programs. See PythonEditors for a list of programs friendly to Python code editing.
Need help with any of this? Read ["BeginnersGuide/Help"] for mailing lists and newsgroups.
Most Python books will include an introduction to the language; see IntroductoryBooks for suggested titles.
Consult ["BeginnersGuide/Examples"] for small programs and little snippets of code that can help you learn.
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.
Complete list of Beginner's Guide pages
Looking for a particular Python module or application?
The first place to look is the Python Package Index, now appropriately renamed [http://cheeseshop.python.org the Cheese Shop].
- 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].