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Introduction to Python Programming

Python has very little to do with Eric Idle or John Cleese. It's an interpreted, object-oriented scripting language. Designed for clarity and simplicity, it's useful for creating large programs and for gluing pieces of other programs together. Keep reading to add Python to your personal programmer's toolkit.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. Introduction to Python Programming
  2. No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!
  3. Working with Numbers
  4. Python Mathematical Operators
By: James Payne
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November 12, 2007

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While the rest of us were cuddled snugly in our beds, the crackling fireplace keeping us nice and warm as we dreamed of the visit from our old pal Saint Nick in the upcoming week, Guido van Rossum was fretting about his week off from work and wondering what he should do with it. He went through several scenarios: spend it with his family? No, that would not do. Volunteer at a kitchen to feed the needy? No, no. How about dressing in a Santa Claus outfit and making some extra loot letting children sit on your lap and cry all day at your horrifying appearance? Tempting, yes.

In the end however, van Rossum decided to create a programming language. He had worked on the programming language ABC (great now that Jackson 5 song is stuck in my head) and wanted to create a descendant of it. Possibly feeling a bit suggestible from an overdose of holiday cheer, he may have kicked back to watch an episode of his favorite show, Monty Python's Flying Circus -- or maybe not. Either way, he named the language Python. And the rest, is history.

I Didn't Expect the Spanish Inquisition!

Before I can let you pass, you must answer three questions!


  • Have you downloaded and installed Python (if not do so at www.python.org/download)?

  • Do you know how to use Notepad (if not you are probably too amazed by the pretty light of the monitor to even read this, so please, carry on)?

  • What is the air speed of a laden swallow? Actually, there is no third question, I just wanted it to fit the bridge scene in "Monty Python's Holy Grail."

If you said yes to all of those, then you may continue. If you said no to any of those, then go rectify that situation, then come back and read the questions again. Then move on to the next section.



 
 
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