What is Python?
Python is an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics. Its high-level built in data structures, combined with dynamic typing and dynamic binding, make it very attractive for Rapid Application Development, as well as for use as a scripting or glue language to connect existing components together. It was created by Guido van Rossum, and released in 1991.
It is used for:
- web development (server-side): Web development is the process of building websites and applications for the internet, or for a private network known as an intranet.
- software development: Software development is the process of conceiving, specifying, designing, programming, documenting, testing, and bug fixing involved in creating and maintaining applications, frameworks, or other software components.
Mathematics is the study of numbers, shapes and patterns.
- system scripting: A scripting language or script language is a programming language for a runtime system that automates the execution of tasks that would otherwise be performed individually by a human operator
- Python works on different platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, etc).
- Python has a simple syntax similar to the English language.
- Python has syntax that allows developers to write programs with fewer lines than some other programming languages.
- Python runs on an interpreter system, meaning that code can be executed as soon as it is written. This means that prototyping can be very quick.
- Python can be treated in a procedural way, an object-oriented way or a functional way.
Good to know
- The most recent major version of Python is Python 3, which we shall be using in this tutorial. However, Python 2, although not being updated with anything other than security updates, is still quite popular.
- In this tutorial Python will be written in a text editor. It is possible to write Python in an Integrated Development Environment, such as Thonny, Pycharm, Netbeans or Eclipse which are particularly useful when managing larger collections of Python files.
Python Syntax compared to other programming languages
- Python was designed for readability, and has some similarities to the English language with influence from mathematics.
- Python uses new lines to complete a command, as opposed to other programming languages which often use semicolons or parentheses.
- Python relies on indentation, using whitespace, to define scope; such as the scope of loops, functions and classes. Other programming languages often use curly-brackets for this purpose.
- Python support Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), natural language processing and data science.
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