Author : Mike Dane
Last Updated : October, 2017
Python is a general purpose, dynamically typed and interpreted, object oriented programming language that was created in the late 1980s by Guido van Rossum.
Python’s design philosophy revolves around readability. It’s meant to be easy to read and easy to write. This is accomplished by using white-space to deliniate code blocks instead of the more traditional curly brackets and semi-colons.
How Python Runs
Generally all python code is run using an interpreter. The most popular and original interpreter is called CPython, because it’s implemented in the c programming language. Several other interpreters exist however, many of which are implemented in languages other than C like Java and C#.
The most common Python interpreter CPython, uses an automatic garbage collector to manage memory. And Python is widely known for having a non-traditional, minimalist syntax which is largly based on white space, and designed to be clean and readable.
When first getting into python it can be a bit confusing becasue unlike many other programming languages Python has two major, non-compatible versions that are currently widely used.
Python version 2.7.3, released in 2012, is the last iteration of verison 2 that was released. This verison is for the most part, backwards compatiable with all previous versions.
In 2008, the Founder, Guido van Rossum decided to clean up the Python codebase and overhall a lot of the things in Python 2 that he didn’t like, thus creating Python 3.
Python 3 was adopted slowly at first, mainly because it is not backwards compatible with Python 2, and there was a huge eco-system of package libraries written for Python 2 which now would not work in python 3.
But now-a-day’s the Python 3 ecosystem has for the most part caught up, making Python 3 the obvious choice for new developers looking to learn the language. Python 3 is also the version that will be taught in this tutorial.
Choosing an IDE
Many developers choose to write Python using a specilized integrated development enviornment. Three of the most popular are Eclipse, PyCharm and Netbeans.