Python Version Tutorial

Python Version Tutorial

Last updated on 10th Oct 2020, Blog, Tutorials

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Python is an easy to learn, powerful programming language. It has efficient high-level data structures and a simple but effective approach to object-oriented programming. Python’s elegant syntax and dynamic typing, together with its interpreted nature, make it an ideal language for scripting and rapid application development in many areas on most platforms.

The Python interpreter is easily extended with new functions and data types implemented in C or C++ (or other languages callable from C). Python is also suitable as an extension language for customizable applications.

This tutorial introduces the reader informally to the basic concepts and features of the Python language and system. It helps to have a Python interpreter handy for hands-on experience, but all examples are self-contained, so the tutorial can be read off-line as well.

For a description of standard objects and modules, see The Python Standard Library. The Python Language Reference gives a more formal definition of the language. To write extensions in C or C++, read Extending and Embedding the Python Interpreter and Python/C API Reference Manual. There are also several books covering Python in depth.

This tutorial does not attempt to be comprehensive and cover every single feature, or even every commonly used feature. Instead, it introduces many of Python’s most noteworthy features, and will give you a good idea of the language’s flavor and style. After reading it, you will be able to read and write Python modules and programs, and you will be ready to learn more about the various Python library modules described in The Python Standard Library.

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Python History

Lets start off by looking at Python history. Python was developed at a time when many other dynamic and open-source programming languages like Tcl, Perl, Ruby etc. were also being actively developed and gaining popularity.

Version 1: Python 1.0

In January 1994, the first version of Python 1.0 was released. This version 1 includes the major new features like the functional programming tools filter, reduce, map, and lambda etc.

Version 2: Python 2.0

After Six and a half years later, Python 2.0 was introduced in October 2000. In this release, a full garbage collector, list comprehensions were included, and it also supports Unicode.

Version 3: Python 3.0

Python then after 8 years, the next major release was made. This release was Python 3.0 also known as”Py3K” or “Python 3000”.

The major changes in Python 3.0 are:

  • In this version, Print is a Python function
  • Instead of lists, in this version, we have Views and iterators
  • In this version, we have more simplified rules for ordering comparisons. For example, we cannot sort a heterogeneous list, because each element of a Python List must be comparable to other elements.
  • In this python version, int. long is also an int as there is only one integer type.
  • In this python version, when we divide two integers it resultant returns is a float instead of an integer. We can use “//” to have the “old” behavior.
  • In this python version, Instead of Unicode Vs. 8-bit we have Text Vs. Data
  • The one drawback of Python 3.0 is that it is not backward compatible with Python 2.x.

Introduction to Python 3 (basics) – Learning to Program with Python 3

Welcome to an introduction to Python and Programming. My goal with this series is to do things a bit different than you usually see with programming tutorials. The problem with most basics tutorials is they just cover the syntax of a language and use a toy example per new concept, repeating this through up to 100s of things like statements, methods and other paradigms of programming.

For one, this is boring. Two, this isn’t how anyone I have ever met actually learns to program, it’s certainly not the way I did it, and my goal with this website and youtube channel has always been to produce content in the way that I wish I had been taught. With my current basics series, I typically tell people to follow the basics until part 13 (it’s a 70 part series), but even to part 13 isn’t quite how I think one should learn to program or Python.

If you find this series too fast-paced, as some have, you can view the older one, which moves much slower and is more basic original Python 3 basics tutorial. Save/bookmark it if you want, or you can just come back here if you’re feeling overwhelmed with this series.

The way you will actually learn to program with a language like Python is the culmination of 3 things:

  1. 1. What’s “Programming” – what programming actually is, including the proper terms to describe what you’re doing.
  2. 2. Your tool set – An understanding of the language you’re working with specifically, including things like built-in functions, syntax…etc.
  3. 3. How to put these things together to achieve some task – This is something that sits outside of the programming language. Most projects, applications…etc are not language specific, they can be made in *any* language. The art of going from idea to code is something you have to learn as well.

So, here’s the deal. If you’re looking for some sort of, step by step, reference guide to the language, look no further than the official Python 3 tutorial. All other Python 3 tutorials that I have ever seen are just versions of that, including the old ones I have done. This is why I don’t see much point in doing that again. If you already know a programming language well, then you should be just fine going through the official docs. If you’re new to programming or you still want to follow along for whatever reason, let’s do it!

Python is a general-purpose programming language, built on top of C. What can you do with Python? Just about anything, and most things quite easily. Topics like data analysis, machine learning, web development, desktop applications, robotics, and more are all things that you can immediately begin doing with Python without much effort. Personally, I’ve used Python to create various websites, including this one! I’ve used Python to train an AI to play Grand Theft Auto 5, to help companies detect diseases, to help detect fraud and abuse against servers, to create games, to trade stocks, and I’ve built and helped to build multiple businesses with Python. Python and programming is life-changing, and it’s my honor to share it with you!

While raw Python is single-threaded and slow, Python in practice is actually quite fast, far faster than any code most of the people telling you that Python is slow could write on their best day. That said, if you were seeking out the absolute quickest execution time, you would still likely be going with C variant, no question about that. The beauty of Python is in just how quickly and easily you can create things. Most of us aren’t writing operating systems, not because we’re too stupid, but because we don’t need millions of operating systems. We do need millions of apps in this world, however.

Python has a robust and ever-growing community of people who build what are called “packages,” “libraries,” “wrappers”, “frameworks,” or any of the other names people might give them. Where speed counts, the heavy-lifting of these packages is done in C/C++, but you interface with them in Python. So when you’re doing data analysis with Python, you get the ease and speed of development that we know and love with Python, but the number crunching, under the hood, is happening in C/C++.

Python 3 Tutorial

Python is a powerful programming language ideal for scripting and rapid application development. It is used in web development (like: Django and Bottle), scientific and mathematical computing (Orange, SymPy, NumPy) to desktop graphical user Interfaces (Pygame, Panda3D).

This tutorial introduces you to the basic concepts and features of Python 3. After reading the tutorial, you will be able to read and write basic Python programs, and explore Python in depth on your own.

This tutorial is intended for people who have knowledge of other programming languages and want to get started with Python quickly.

Python for Beginners

If you are a programming newbie, we suggest you to visit:

  1. 1. Python Programming – A comprehensive guide on what’s Python, how to get started in Python, why you should learn it, and how you can learn it.
  2. 2. Python Tutorials – Follow sidebar links one by one.
  3. 3. Python Examples – Simple examples for beginners to follow.

Run Python on Your computer

You do not need to install Python on your computer to follow this tutorial. However, we recommend you to run Python programs included in this tutorial on your own computer.

  • Run Python on Windows
  • Run Python on MacOS

Operators

Operators are special symbols that carry out operations on operands (variables and values).

Let’s talk about arithmetic and assignment operators in this part.

Arithmetic operators are used to perform mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication etc.

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 Type Conversion

The process of converting the value of one data type (integer, string, float, etc.) to another is called type conversion. Python has two types of type conversion.

Implicit Type Conversion

Implicit conversion doesn’t need any user involvement.

Explicit Conversion

In case of explicit conversion, you convert the datatype of an object to the required data type. We use predefined functions like int(), float(), str() etc. to perform explicit type conversion.

Python Numeric Types

Python supports integers, floating point numbers and complex numbers. They are defined as int, float and complex class in Python. In addition to that, booleans: True and False are a subtype of integers.

Python 3 Installation & Setup Guide

Installing or updating Python on your computer is the first step to becoming a Python programmer. There are a multitude of installation methods: you can download official Python distributions from Python.org, install from a package manager, and even install specialized distributions for scientific computing, Internet of Things, and embedded systems.

This tutorial focuses on official distributions, as they’re generally the best option for getting started with learning to program in Python.

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to:

  • Check which version of Python, if any, is installed on your machine
  • Install or update Python on Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • Use Python on mobile devices like phones or tablets
  • Use Python on the Web with online interpreters

No matter what operating system you’re on, this tutorial has you covered. Find your operating system below and dive in!

How to Install Python on Windows

There are three installation methods on Windows:

  1. 1. The Microsoft Store
  2. 2. The full installer
  3. 3. Windows Subsystem for Linux

In this section, you’ll learn how to check which version of Python, if any, is installed on your Windows computer. You’ll also learn which of the three installation methods you should use.

How to Check Your Python Version on Windows

To check if you already have Python on your Windows machine, first open a command-line application, such as PowerShell.

With the command line open, type in the following command and press Enter:

Using the –version switch will show you the version that’s installed. Alternatively, you can use the -V switch:

What Your Options Are

As mentioned earlier, there are three ways to install the official Python distribution on Windows:

  1. 1. Microsoft Store package: The most straightforward installation method on Windows involves installing from the Microsoft Store app. This is recommended for beginner Python users looking for an easy-to-set-up interactive experience.
  2. 2. Full Installer: This approach involves downloading Python directly from the Python.org website. This is recommended for intermediate and advanced developers who need more control during the setup process.
  3. 3. Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL): The WSL allows you to run a Linux environment directly in Windows. You can learn how to enable the WSL by reading the Windows Subsystem for Linux Installation Guide for Windows 10.

In this section, we’ll focus on only the first two options, which are the most popular installation methods in a Windows environment.

If you want to install in the WSL, then you can read the Linux section of this tutorial after you’ve installed the Linux distribution of your choice.

The two official Python installers for Windows aren’t identical. The Microsoft Store package has some important limitations.

Limitations of the Microsoft Store Package

The official Python documentation has this to say about the Microsoft Store package:

The Microsoft Store package is an easily installable Python interpreter that is intended mainly for interactive use, for example, by students.

The key takeaway here is that the Microsoft Store package is “intended mainly for interactive use.” That is, the Microsoft Store package is designed to be used by students and people learning to use Python for the first time.

In addition to targeting beginning Pythonistas, the Microsoft Store package has limitations that make it ill-suited for a professional development environment. In particular, it does not have full write access to shared locations such as TEMP or the registry.

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Windows Installer Recommendations

If you’re new to Python and focused primarily on learning the language rather than building professional software, then you should install from the Microsoft Store package. This offers the shortest and easiest path to getting started with minimal hassle.

On the other hand, if you’re an experienced developer looking to develop professional software in a Windows environment, then the official Python.org installer is the right choice. Your installation won’t be limited by Microsoft Store policies, and you can control where the executable is installed and even add Python to PATH if necessary.

How to Install From the Microsoft Store

If you’re new to Python and looking to get started quickly, then the Microsoft Store package is the best way to get up and running without any fuss. You can install from the Microsoft Store in two steps.

Step 1: Open the Python App Page in the Microsoft Store

Open the Microsoft Store app and search for Python.

You’ll likely see multiple versions that you can choose to install:

Select Python 3.8, or the highest version number you see available in the app, to open the installation page.

If you don’t already have a version of Python on your system, then when you press Enter, the Microsoft Store will automatically launch and take you to the latest version of Python in the store.

Step 2: Install the Python App

After you’ve selected the version to be installed, follow these steps to complete the installation:

  1. 1. Click Get.
  2. 2. Wait for the application to download. When it’s finished downloading, the Get button will be replaced with a button that says Install on my devices.
  3. 3. Click Install on my devices and select the devices on which you’d like to complete the installation.
  4. 4. Click Install Now and then OK to start the installation.
  5. 5. If the installation was successful, then you’ll see the message “This product is installed” at the top of the Microsoft Store page.

How to Install From the Full Installer

For professional developers who need a full-featured Python development environment, installing from the full installer is the right choice. It offers more customization and control over the installation than installing from the Microsoft Store.

You can install from the full installer in two steps.

Step 1: Download the Full Installer

Follow these steps to download the full installer:

  1. 1. Open a browser window and navigate to the Python.org Downloads page for Windows.
  2. 2. Under the “Python Releases for Windows” heading, click the link for the Latest Python 3 Release – Python 3.x.x. As of this writing, the latest version was Python 3.8.4.
  3. 3. Scroll to the bottom and select either Windows x86-64 executable installer for 64-bit or Windows x86 executable installer for 32-bit.

Step 2: Run the Installer

Once you’ve chosen and downloaded an installer, run it by double-clicking on the downloaded file. A dialog box like the one below will appear:

There are four things to notice about this dialog box:

  1. 1. The default install path is in the AppData/ directory of the current Windows user.
  2. 2. The Customize installation button can be used to customize the installation location and which additional features get installed, including pip and IDLE.
  3. 3. The Install launcher for all users (recommended) checkbox is checked default. This means every user on the machine will have access to the py.exe launcher. You can uncheck this box to restrict Python to the current Windows user.
  4. 4. The Add Python 3.8 to PATH checkbox is unchecked by default. There are several reasons that you might not want Python on PATH, so make sure you understand the implications before you check this box.

How to Install Python on macOS

Python 2 comes preinstalled on older versions of macOS. This is no longer the case for current versions of macOS, starting with macOS Catalina.

There are two installation methods on macOS:

  1. 1. The official installer
  2. 2. The Homebrew package manager

In this section, you’ll learn how to check which version of Python, if any, is installed on your macOS device. You’ll also learn which of the two installation methods you should use.

How to Check Your Python Version on a Mac

To check which Python version you have on your Mac, first open a command-line application, such as Terminal.

If you have Python on your system, then one or more of these commands should respond with a version number.

For example, if Python 3.6.10 were already set up on your computer, then the python3 command would display that version number:

 You’ll want to get the latest version of Python if any of these conditions is true:

  • None of the above commands returns a version number.
  • The only version you see displayed is in the Python 2.X series.
  • You have a version of Python 3 that isn’t the latest available, which was version 3.8.4 as of this writing.
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What Your Options Are

There are two ways to install the official Python distribution on macOS:

  1. 1. The official installer: This method involves downloading the official installer from the Python.org website and running it on your machine.
  2. 2. The Homebrew package manager: This method involves downloading and installing the Homebrew package manager if you don’t already have it installed, and then typing a command into a terminal application.

Both the official installer and the Homebrew package manager will work, but only the official installer is maintained by the Python Software Foundation.

The distributions installed by the official installer and the Homebrew package manager aren’t identical. Installing from Homebrew has some limitations.

Limitations of Installing From Homebrew

The Python distribution for macOS available on Homebrew doesn’t include the Tcl/Tk dependency required by the Tkinter module. Tkinter is the standard library module for developing graphical user interfaces in Python and is in fact an interface for the Tk GUI toolkit, which isn’t part of Python.

Homebrew doesn’t install the Tk GUI toolkit dependency. Instead, it relies on an existing version installed on your system. The system version of Tcl/Tk may be outdated or missing entirely and could prevent you from importing the Tkinter module.

macOS Installer Recommendations

The Homebrew package manager is a popular method for installing Python on macOS because it’s easy to manage from the command line and offers commands to upgrade Python without having to go to a website. Because Homebrew is a command-line utility, it can be automated with bash scripts.

However, the Python distribution offered by Homebrew isn’t controlled by the Python Software Foundation and could change at any time. The most reliable method on macOS is to use the official installer, especially if you plan on doing Python GUI programming with Tkinter.

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How to Install From the Official Installer

Installing Python from the official installer is the most reliable installation method on macOS. It includes all the system dependencies needed for developing applications with Python.

You can install from the official installer in two steps.

Step 1: Download the Official Installer

Follow these steps to download the full installer:

  1. 1. Open a browser window and navigate to the Python.org Downloads page for macOS.
  2. 2. Under the “Python Releases for Mac OS X” heading, click the link for the Latest Python 3 Release – Python 3.x.x. As of this writing, the latest version was Python 3.8.4.
  3. 3. Scroll to the bottom and click macOS 64-bit installer to start the download.

When the installer is finished downloading, move on to the next step.

Step 2: Run the Installer

Run the installer by double-clicking the downloaded file.

Follow these steps to complete the installation:

  1. 1. Press Continue a few times until you’re asked to agree to the software license agreement. Then click Agree.
  2. 2. You’ll be shown a window that tells you the install destination and how much space it will take. You most likely don’t want to change the default location, so go ahead and click Install to start the installation.
  3. 3. When the installer is finished copying files, click Close to close the installer window.You now have the latest version of Python 3 on your macOS computer!

How to Install From Homebrew

For users who need to install from the command line, especially those who won’t be using Python to develop graphical user interfaces with the Tkinter module, the Homebrew package manager is a good option. You can install from the Homebrew package manager in two steps.

Step 1: Install Homebrew

If you already have Homebrew installed, then you can skip this step. If you don’t have Homebrew installed, then use the following procedure to install Homebrew:

  1. 1. Open a browser and navigate to http://brew.sh/.

You should see a command for installing Homebrew near the top of the page under the tile “Install Homebrew.”

  1. 2. Enter your macOS user password when prompted.

Depending on your Internet connection, it may take a few minutes to download all of Homebrew’s required files. Once the installation is complete, you’ll end up back at the shell prompt in your terminal window.

Now that Homebrew is installed, you’re ready to install Python.

Step 2:Install Python

Follow these steps to complete the installation with Homebrew:

  1. 1. Open a terminal application.

Type in the following command to upgrade Homebrew:

Installing with Homebrew is now as straightforward as running the command brew install python3. This will download and set up the latest version of Python on your machine.

You can make sure everything went correctly by testing if you can access Python from the terminal:

  1. 1. Open a terminal.
  2. 2. Type pip3 and press Enter.
  3. 3. You should see the help text from Python’s pip package manager. If you get an error message running pip3, then go through the install steps again to make sure you have a working installation.you now have Python on your macOS system.

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