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Author Topic: Python 3 - advice required on installing appropriate system/interpreter.  (Read 765 times)

IainB

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Context is following on from this post:
...I was thinking about this - how one's mind can confuse itself - when I was helping my daughter with her "computer science" studies homework tonight. She's writing her first computer program - it's in Python 3, with which I was not familiar.    :o
I was having to learn the rules and syntax by implication, as she didn't have a reference manual and was just using an online Python code editor/interpreter on a trial-and-error basis. So it was edit, run, stop on error. It would spit out the errors progressively, incrementally and individually (one at a time), stopping at each error and waiting for you to correct that (edit) before it moved on to the next error (run again from the beginning), and so on. Painfully tedious and confusing, but potentially instructive if one understood the need to  to focus on being pedantic and trying to understand the hidden/implicit logic (grammar) of the language being parsed. ...
____________________________

So, I decided to build a self-contained Python environment for my daughter, on her laptop, to assist her to self-educate (with assistance from me).

I don't have a familiarity with Python, so to get myself and my daughter up to speed, I identifed some potentially useful resources, and downloaded Python 3.0.
These are the main resources I identified:
1. Documentation:

2. System:
  • From the main Python 3 website (), I downloaded and installed Python 3.0 Release:
https://www.python.org/ftp/python/3.0/python-3.0.amd64.msi
  • This was initially installed on my laptop so that I could have a "suck-it-and-see" trial.
    _____________________________________

- but I have a question: Which would arguably be the best or most useful approach:
  • (a) for my 15 y/o daughter (as a complete newcomer to programming)
  • (b) for myself (as a lapsed hacker of the "old school" wanting to assist his daughter's education)?

For example:
  • Would it be "best" to install 32-bit, or 64-bit, and why (under what circumstances) would that be "best"?
  • Are there any other versions/resources that I could probably find useful and should therefore look at, in addition to the main ones I outline above? (Maybe including things such as code snippets or examples in Python 3.)

Many thanks in advance for any help/advice proffered.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 03:32 AM by IainB »

Mark0

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The 3.0 version is quite old (years). The current one is 3.6.x:
https://www.python.o.../release/python-361/

As for 32 or 64 bit, it doesn't do much difference, except when dealing with some additional/external modules, but even those at this time are usually available in both versions. Basically you can't go very wrong either.

I saw often recommended "How to Think Like a Computer Scientist". You can find online both PDF and online/interactive version, like this one:
http://interactivepy...thinkcspy/index.html

I liked a lot this Google Python Class by Nick Parlante, in 6 parts:



IMHO it's very well conducted and engaging, and can bring one up to speed and coding something interesting in Python very fast. The only con is that it's based on Python 2.x. But the difference in the topic explored aren't that great (mostly just put parenthesis after print, which is a function in Py3 and a statement in Py2).


Tuxman

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I miss the good old times when Pascal was the de-facto learning/teaching language. There was Borland's product and it had anything you needed. Sigh!


IainB

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@Mark0: Thanks. The version 3 is necessary only because that is the version my daughter is being taught with at school.

@Tuxman:
I miss the good old times when Pascal was the de-facto learning/teaching language. There was Borland's product and it had anything you needed. Sigh!
________________________
I know very little about Pascal either. Why is it not taught now? Maybe you could set up a "Pascal reminiscences" (or something) thread on DC Forum? Or are there lots of those on the Internet already?
I'm sure you are not alone in this.

Tuxman

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My NANY 2017 submission was written in Object Pascal ("Delphi"). You can never know how to use enough languages.  :D

I guess the main problem with Pascal is that Borland (Embarcadero, Inprose, Codegear... whoever owns the Delphi tools now) stopped providing "Starter Editions" (or affordable student licenses) for Pascal/Delphi years ago and universities/schools rarely have enough budget to pay the ridiculous prices. As Borland (et cetera...) was the main vendor for Pascal and Object Pascal (Free Pascal/Lazarus is a rather recent thing), it was probably mostly an economic decision to start with Python instead.

I don't really like Python, it teaches you a horrible code style and it lacks brackets. To each his own, I guess.

Mark0

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@Mark0: Thanks. The version 3 is necessary only because that is the version my daughter is being taught with at school.

I understand but usually, in the context of Python, when one say Python 3(.x) is to contrast that to Python 2(.x). At some point they decided to sort out the language, and loose some inconsistencies and ugliness even if the price was backward compatibility. So they have become like 2 different dialects, and you see all the time in Python projects stated that they'll work in Python 2 or 3 (and sometimes both).
So it's probably worth checking, but I doubt they are really using such an old version like 3.0.x.

mwb1100

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I have only done a bit of Python.  I found the PyCharm IDE to be helpful, though it might be overwhelming for someone just getting started.  There's a free "Community" edition and an "Edu" edition (also free), but I'm not sure exactly how it differs from the Community edition.  It claims to be tailored for novices.

  - PyCharm Edu
  - PyCharm Community Edition