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Conduct Science promotes new generations of tools for science tech transferred from academic institutions including mazes, digital health apps, virtual reality and drones for science. Our news promotes the best new methodologies in science.
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Language is the foundation of everything, no matter how fascinating or basic the undertaking is. Everything in this world is driven by a language. Similarly, at the base of technological advancement that we all have been witnessed to, lies a set of different programming languages.

But what is a programming language?

To put it simply, programming language is the compilation of vocabulary and grammatical rules to structure a coherent command used to instruct a computer to execute that specific command. (Naur, Univ, and Denmark, 1975)

That does not sound very different from any other language in the world, does it? The similarities do not end there, like any other language, e.g., English, French, German, etc., different programming languages have their keywords and syntax.  This enables us, humans, to communicate with computing devices through different programs written in programming languages.

There are many programming languages with their purposes, advantages, and drawbacks, such as:

  • Python
  • Java/JavaScript
  • Objective – C
  • PHP
  • Perl
  • C, C++, and C#

All of these and more programming language types are further categorized in different forms. It means that programming languages are classified in varying orientations to perform different types of tasks. The most common types are as follow:

  • Procedural Programming Language
  • Functional Programming Language
  • Object-oriented Programming Language
  • Scripting Programming Language
  • Logic Programming Language

This article, however, intends to make the understanding of only one of these programming languages easy for you.

The high level, multipurpose programming language called Python.

Today, we aim to describe what is Python, what it is used for, how you can run and install it, or even how to write your own very first python program. We will go over all of it but in the simplest of manner.

So, let’s begin!

What is Python?

Python is a high level, cross-platform, powerful programming language. It is one of the most popular languages among programmers and developers across the world. Python was developed by Guido van Rossum and released in the year 1991. (Rocha and Ferreira, 2018)

Python can be run on multiple platforms, e.g., Windows, macOS, Linux, so on and so forth – which makes it cross-platform and multi-purpose computer programming language that can build just about anything with the correct tools.

The syntax of Python is quite easy to understand and use, which is a big plus for those of you who are new to computer programming. The easy syntax is written in C that is called CPython in default implementation.

Python is the best thing that has happened to data analysis, scientific computation, backend web development, and artificial intelligence.

What can you use Python for?

As we have established above, Python is a general-purpose programming language which can be used for the following tasks:

  • Web development
  • Desktop GUI applications
  • Software & app development
  • Mathematics & Algorithms
  • System scripting.

All and all, Python being the high-level programming language lets us concentrate on the central functionality of any application by self-executing the common programming tasks on the server’s end.

What can Python do?

The general-purpose nature of Python programming language means it stands to serve quite diverse purposes. The key Python feature is its support for both the procedure-oriented as well as object-oriented programming. Unlike other programming languages, e.g., Java, Python supports multiple inheritances. (Shukla and Parmar, 2016)

Python can typically do the following:

  • Python can create web applications on the server’s end.
  • Python can create workflow when used with different software.
  • Python is database compatible, which allows it to read and modify different files.
  • Python can sustain big data handling and complex mathematics tasks.
  • Python can do fast prototyping of any software due to its interpreter system that executes the code immediately after it is written.
  • Python can be used for software development.
  • Python is cross-platform language and runs smoothly on Windows, Mac, Raspberry Pi, etc.

The Syntax of Python

The main reason for the simplicity of the Python programming language is that it was designed for intelligible readability. It carries some similarities and influences with the basic English language as well as mathematics. Python, unlike many other programming languages, uses new lines to execute thorough commands over common usage of semicolons or parentheses. Python uses whitespace indentations to define scope or program blocks as opposed to other programming languages, e.g., C/C++ that rely on braces ({}) to indicate the scope of loops or blocks of codes for classes, functions, and flow control.

Running, Installation, & Programming

Now that we have a decent idea about Python programming language and its functionality, let us go forward about how to get started with it.

Although Python is a walk-in park for an experienced programmer of any language, it is not-so-difficult for aspiring programmers either. Even if you are a beginner, you can pick it up relatively quickly and use it in technical endeavors.

Keeping up with our promise above, in this part of the article, you will learn how to install and run Python on your computer.

To make it less complicated, we advise people who are new to the world of programming to start learning Python programming by using an open-source Thonny IDE. The Thonny IDE – a free Python Integrated Development Environment – is the easiest way to get the Python run correctly. It is designed to assist beginners by supporting different codes, easy yet detailed expression evaluation, call stack visualization, and specialized mode for references and heap explanation. To top it all, it comes equipped with the latest version of Python, which renders the separate installation quite unnecessary. (Annamaa, 2015)

For those of you who choose to pay heed to our advice and begin with Thonny IDE, you just need to follow the following 6 steps to get your Python up and running on your system:

  • In the first step, you need to download Thonny IDE off an authentic source.
  • Now find the installer and run it to install Thonny IDE on your computer.
  • After that, open it and go to the Fileoption and click New File.
  • Before anything else, save your file with the name of your choice and end it with the “.py” extension.
  • In this step, you write your python code and save it.
  • Lastly, you need to go to the Runoption followed by clicking Run current script to run it.

Independent Installation

Those of you who do not want to work through Thonny IDE, follow the following steps to install and run the Python on your system:

  • Start with downloading the latest version of python from an authentic source.
  • Now run your installer file and follow the step-by-step instruction until the Python installation is done.
  • After installation, you are ready to run Python.

There are two modes to run Python, first is the immediate mode, which allows directly inserting Python code and receiving the output, while second is the IDE mode, where you can even create a Python script file by using any text editor. Only IDE requires .py extension at the end of every file name.

To exit either of the modes, writes quit() before pressing to enter a command.

Your Python Program

With understanding, installation, and running aside, the next logical step is to learn how you can write your very first Python program.

If you have been doing your research regarding the ins and outs of the programming spectrum, chances are you are already familiar with the program called “Hello World!”. It is typically used as an introduction for any programming language to beginners. The output of “hello, world!” comes out as Hello, World! (Jenkins, 2015)

The simplicity of it makes it the best program to try as our first Python program. Start by typing this program in an IDE in case of using Thonny or in text editing software and save the file with .py extension, e.g., HelloWorld.py. After that, go running and click on Run File, and you will get the same output as mentioned above.

And that’s it! You have just successfully written and executed your first Python program.

Python Programming Keywords

As with any other language, the computer programming languages have their own predetermined set of words. The reserved words in Python programming are known as keywords. Once you know how to write a program, you should keep on experimenting with different methods and descriptions of Python keywords and identifiers. Remember that you cannot use identifiers such as variable name or function name as keywords because the reserved words are used to outline the Python language’s syntax and structure. All Python keywords must be written in lower case except for False, True, and None due to case sensitivity that is common in Python programming language.

Here is the list of 33 keywords along with the method and description:

  1. False – To get Boolean value in the result of the comparison
  2. Def – To define a function
  3. If – To make a conditional statement
  4. raise – To raise an exception
  5. None – To represent a null value
  6. Del – To delete an object
  7. Import – To import a module
  8. return – To return value and to exit a function
  9. True – To get Boolean value in the result of the comparison
  10. Elif – To be used in a conditional statement
  11. in – To check a value
  12. try – Except statement, to make a try
  13. and – Logical operator
  14. else – to be used in conditional statements
  15. is – to test if two variables are equal
  16. while – To create a while loop
  17. as – To create an alias
  18. except – to be used in exceptions
  19. lambda – To create an anonymous function
  20. with – To simplify exception handling
  21. assert – to be used for debugging
  22. finally – To be used with exceptions
  23. nonlocal – To declare a non-local variable
  24. yield – To end function or return generator
  25. break – To break a loop
  26. for – To create for loop
  27. not – Logical operator
  28. class – To define a class
  29. from – To import module
  30. or – Logical operator
  31. continue – To continue to the next loop
  32. global – To declare a global variable
  33. pass – To point a null statement

These keywords are liable to some alteration depending on which version of Python you are using. You should always get the list of keywords in your current version.

Conclusion

There is a lot more to the Python, which is an encompassing programming language with multi-function operations – but we have given you a comprehensive basic understanding that is more than sufficient to get you started with your program. The most recent version of Python is Python 3, which has more updated features than Python 2. Yet, Python 2 is quite popular, especially among beginners, for its simple configuration.

The programmers and web developers are high in demand. If you are thinking about making it your career, then keep on learning until you develop first-rate programs in numerical computing.

Reference

  1. Denmark, C., Naur, P., & Univ, C. (December, 1975). Programming Languages, Natural languages, and Mathematics. Communications of the ACM CACM Homepage archive, 18(12), 676-683. https://doi.org/10.1145/361227.361229
  2. Ferreira,G., & Rocha, M. (2018, June 15). An Introduction to the Python Language. Bioinformatics Algorithms, 5-58. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-812520-5.00002-X
  3. Parmar, D.J.,  Shukla, X.U., & Xitij U. (2016, April 19). Python – A Comprehensive yet Free Programming Language for Statisticians. Journal of Statistics and Management Systems, 19(2), 277-284. https://doi.org/10.1080/09720510.2015.1103446
  4. Annamaa, A. (2015, November 19). Introducing Thonny, A Python IDE for Learning Programming. ACM New York, NY, USA©2015, 117-121. https://doi.org/1145/2828959.2828969
  5. Jenkins, T. (2015, December 15). The First Language – A Case for Python?. Journal of Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences, 3(2), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.11120/ital.2004.03020004