Python For Beginners

Python For Beginners

Welcome! Are you completely new to programming?
If not then we presume you will be looking for information about
why and how to get started with Python.
Fortunately an
experienced programmer in any programming language (whatever it may be)
can pick up Python very quickly.
It's also easy for beginners to use and learn, so
jump in!

Installing

Installing Python is generally easy, and nowadays
many Linux and UNIX distributions include a recent Python.
Even
some Windows computers (notably those from HP) now come with Python
already installed.
If you do need to install Python and aren't confident about the
task you can find
a few notes on the
BeginnersGuide/Download
wiki page, but installation is unremarkable on most platforms.

Learning

Before getting started, you may want to find out which IDEs and text
editors are tailored to make
Python editing easy, browse the list of introductory books, or look at code samples that you might find
helpful.

There is a list of tutorials suitable for experienced programmers on the
BeginnersGuide/Tutorials
page. There is also a list of
resources in other languages
which might be useful if English is not your first language.

The online documentation
is your first port of call for definitive information.
There is a fairly brief
tutorial
that gives you basic information about the language and
gets you started. You can follow this by looking at the
library reference
for a full description of Python's many libraries and the
language reference for
a complete (though somewhat dry) explanation of Python's syntax.
If you are looking for common Python recipes and patterns, you
can browse the ActiveState Python Cookbook

Looking for Something Specific?

If you want to know whether a particular application, or a library
with particular functionality, is available in Python there are a
number of possible sources of information. The Python web site
provides a
Python Package Index
(also known as the Cheese Shop, a reference to the Monty Python
script of that name).
There is also a
search page for a number of sources of Python-related
information. Failing that, just
Google for a phrase including the word "python"
and you may well get the result you need.
If all else fails, ask on the
python newsgroup
and there's a good chance someone will put you on the right track.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question, it's a good idea to try the
FAQ, which answers the most commonly
asked questions about Python.

Looking to Help?

If you want to help to develop Python, take a look at the
developer area for further information.
Please note that you don't have to be an expert programmer
to help. The documentation is just as important as the
compiler, and still needs plenty of work!