Now that we know a tiny bit about Python, let's move into launching the Python system.

If you have not yet installed Python, you can download it from www.python.org. Download the latest version of Python 3 (should be something like 3.6, 3.7, or 3.x). The first number before the decimal stands for the core version of Python. Before Python 3 was Python 2. The second number represents the version of Python. This is where small fixes or updates happen that do no alter any main behaviors of Python. This course will use Python 3.

Launching Python

From Windows, click on Start, navigate to Python 3.x, and select IDLE. This is the first step in running Python.

 

You should come across the Python Shell, which is a single-line interface.

Using this system, you can program one line at a time. Unfortunately, this isn't very useful. For most of the chapters in this tutorial, we will use a "New Window" to code multiple lines at once. This allows us to go back and edit things, change the order of our code, fix errors, and operate more freely than one line at a time. We will see this use immediately in Chapter 1.

To open a "New Window", click on File> New

 

You should get a completely blank window:

 

A note on "Commented Code"

When you create more and more complex programs, keeping your work organized and labeled will help you immensely. Your code should be thoroughly commented to ensure both yourself and your peers can review code. For simple programs that are 1-10 lines long, we won't need commented code, but for something larger, it would make it easier to figure out what is going on.

You can add developer comments to your programs by using the octothorpe symbol, or #. This symbol basically tells Python to ignore all text following it since it summarizes code as opposed to executing code:

 

Anyways, now that we understand some of the basics, let's start coding!

Chapter 1.1 - Print Statements