Python Quick Start
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Python Quick Start

A beginner's introduction to Python programming

About the Book

Python is an extremely popular language, and is an excellent choice for first time programmers, because it is simple to get started with, but extremely powerful once you get to know it. Python in the language of choice for machine learning and web development, but is can also be used for anything from system scripts to games to desktop applications. It is also embedded in many existing applications to provide a scripting mechanism, which can be used to automate many applications such as Paintshop or Blender.

This book will help you learn Python whether you are a complete beginner or you already have experience programming in other languages. It teaches all the core features of the language, step by step, with example code.

About the Author

Martin McBride
Martin McBride

Martin McBride is a software developer, specialising in computer graphics, sound, and mathematical programming. He has been writing code since the 1980s in a wide variety of languages from assembler through to C++, Java and Python. He writes for PythonInformer.com and is the author of Functional Programming in Python. He is interested in generative art and works on the generativepy open source project.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
    • Who is this book for?
    • About the author
    • Keep in touch
  • Introduction
    • What is Python
    • History of Python
    • Zen of Python
  • 1 Getting started with Python
    • 1.1 Installing Python
      • 1.1.1 Windows
      • 1.1.2 Linux
    • 1.2 Running IDLE
    • 1.3 Simple maths in Python
    • 1.4 Variables
      • 1.4.1 Calculations with variables
      • 1.4.2 Changing the value of a variable
      • 1.4.3 Variable names
    • 1.5 Strings
      • 1.5.1 Strings in variables
    • 1.6 Console shortcuts
  • 2 Hello world
    • 2.1 Writing a program
      • 2.1.1 Running the IDLE console window
      • 2.1.2 Opening an edit window
      • 2.1.3 Typing in your code
      • 2.1.4 Type, don’t copy and paste
      • 2.1.5 Running your code
      • 2.1.6 Seeing the result
    • 2.2 In case of errors
    • 2.3 Print statements - outputting text
    • 2.4 Sequencing
    • 2.5 Input statements - getting user input
      • 2.5.1 Inputting a number
    • 2.6 Selection
      • 2.6.1 Indentation
    • 2.7 Iteration
    • 2.8 Comments
  • 3 Variables and values
    • 3.1 Creating and using variables
    • 3.2 Variables can store any type of data
    • 3.3 Naming variables
      • 3.3.1 Legal variable names
      • 3.3.2 Reserved words
      • 3.3.3 Choosing variable names
      • 3.3.4 Naming conventions
      • 3.3.5 Unicode characters
    • 3.4 Variables point to values
    • 3.5 None
    • 3.6 Multiple assignments
  • 4 Numbers and maths
    • 4.1 Types of number
      • 4.1.1 Integers
      • 4.1.2 Floating point numbers
      • 4.1.3 Finding the type
    • 4.2 Basic maths operations
      • 4.2.1 Addition
      • 4.2.2 Int and float results
      • 4.2.3 Subtraction
      • 4.2.4 Multiplication
      • 4.2.5 Division
      • 4.2.6 Power
      • 4.2.7 Floor divide
      • 4.2.8 Modulo
      • 4.2.9 Unary operators
      • 4.2.10 Augmented assignment
    • 4.3 Precedence and brackets
      • 4.3.1 Statements and expressions
    • 4.4 Built-in maths functions
      • 4.4.1 abs()
      • 4.4.2 min() and max()
      • 4.4.3 int()
      • 4.4.4 float()
    • 4.5 math module
    • 4.6 Limitations of floats
    • 4.7 More advanced topics
      • 4.7.1 Scientific notation for floats
      • 4.7.2 Complex numbers
  • 5 Strings
    • 5.1 Creating strings
    • 5.2 String type
    • 5.3 Operations on strings
      • 5.3.1 Methods
    • 5.4 Converting between strings and other data types
    • 5.5 How to use special characters in a string
      • 5.5.1 Quote characters
      • 5.5.2 Unicode characters
      • 5.5.3 Newline characters
      • 5.5.4 The escape character \
  • 6 Loops
    • 6.1 For loops
      • 6.1.1 The loop variable
    • 6.2 The range function
      • 6.2.1 Changing the start value
      • 6.2.2 Using a step value
    • 6.3 For loop example - printing a times table
    • 6.4 While loops
    • 6.5 While loop example - getting user input
    • 6.6 Nested loops
  • 7 Input and output
    • 7.1 Input prompts
    • 7.2 Inputting numbers
    • 7.3 Print
    • 7.4 Print separators
  • 8 If statements
    • 8.1 if statements
      • 8.1.1 Example if statement
    • 8.2 Comparison operators
    • 8.3 Else statement
    • 8.4 Elif statement
    • 8.5 Compound conditions
    • 8.6 Comparison operator chaining
    • 8.7 Precedence
  • 9 Lists
    • 9.1 What is a list?
      • 9.1.1 Lists vs arrays
    • 9.2 Creating lists
      • 9.2.1 Empty lists
      • 9.2.2 The list function
    • 9.3 The list type
    • 9.4 Accessing list elements
      • 9.4.1 Reading an element
      • 9.4.2 Changing an element
    • 9.5 Operations on lists
    • 9.6 Looping over a list
      • 9.6.1 Doing calculations in a loop
    • 9.7 List functions
      • 9.7.1 Finding the length of the list
      • 9.7.2 Finding the min a max values
      • 9.7.3 Adding up the values in a list
    • 9.8 List methods
      • 9.8.1 Adding elements
      • 9.8.2 Searching for elements in a list
      • 9.8.3 Removing elements
      • 9.8.4 Other methods
    • 9.9 Two-dimensional lists
      • 9.9.1 Ragged arrays
    • 9.10 Aliasing
      • 9.10.1 Reassigning variables
      • 9.10.2 Does aliasing affect numbers?
    • 9.11 Examples
      • 9.11.1 Finding every element of a given value
      • 9.11.2 Creating a 2-dimensional list of zeros
  • 10 Using functions
    • 10.1 Why use functions?
    • 10.2 Built-in functions
      • 10.2.1 repr
      • 10.2.2 chr and ord
      • 10.2.3 help and dir
    • 10.3 Importing modules
      • 10.3.1 Simple import statement
      • 10.3.2 Importing individual functions
      • 10.3.3 Aliasing a module
      • 10.3.4 Importing all functions (don’t do this)
    • 10.4 How to call functions
      • 10.4.1 Optional parameters
      • 10.4.2 Variable number of arguments
      • 10.4.3 Named optional parameters
    • 10.5 Defining your own functions
      • 10.5.1 Printing @s
      • 10.5.2 Printing more @s
      • 10.5.3 Returning a value
  • 11 More loops
    • 11.1 The break operator
      • 11.1.1 Break in a for loop
      • 11.1.2 Break in a while loop
    • 11.2 The continue operator
    • 11.3 Using else with a loop
    • 11.4 Nested loop statements
      • 11.4.1 Printing times tables
    • 11.5 Modifying a for loop
    • 11.6 Looping in reverse order
      • 11.6.1 Using range() to count backwards - ugly
      • 11.6.2 reversed()
    • 11.7 sorted()
    • 11.8 Looping over multiple items
      • 11.8.1 zip
      • 11.8.2 How zip() works
    • 11.9 More about zip()
    • 11.10 Accessing the loop count using enumerate
    • 11.11 Looping over selected items
      • 11.11.1 Using filter
      • 11.11.2 The advantage of using filter
  • 12 Programming logic
    • 12.1 Boolean types
    • 12.2 Comparison operators and their opposites
    • 12.3 Boolean operations and De Morgan’s Laws
    • 12.4 Ternary operators
    • 12.5 Comparing containers
      • 12.5.1 Strings
      • 12.5.2 Lists
      • 12.5.3 Other containers
    • 12.6 Membership testing
    • 12.7 Identity testing
    • 12.8 Truthy values
      • 12.8.1 Numbers
      • 12.8.2 Strings
      • 12.8.3 Lists
      • 12.8.4 Other collections
      • 12.8.5 None
      • 12.8.6 Other objects
    • 12.9 Short circuit evaluation
      • 12.9.1 Short-circuiting with the or operator
      • 12.9.2 Short-circuiting with the and operator
      • 12.9.3 Short-circuiting to avoid errors
      • 12.9.4 The value of an or/and expression
      • 12.9.5 Getting a true or false value
  • 13 Slices
    • 13.1 Slicing a list
    • 13.2 Using negative indices
    • 13.3 Delete or replace a slice of a list
    • 13.4 Slicing tuples and strings
    • 13.5 Loop over a slice
    • 13.6 Using steps
  • 14 More strings
    • 14.1 Raw strings
    • 14.2 Multi-line strings
    • 14.3 Looping over a string
    • 14.4 Joining strings
    • 14.5 Splitting a string
    • 14.6 Formatting strings
    • 14.7 The in operator
    • 14.8 Other string methods
      • 14.8.1 Changing case
      • 14.8.2 Dealing with whitespace
      • 14.8.3 Padding
      • 14.8.4 Search
      • 14.8.5 Splitting strings
      • 14.8.6 Categorising strings
  • 15 Tuples
    • 15.1 What is a tuple?
    • 15.2 Creating a tuple
    • 15.3 Accessing elements
    • 15.4 Packing and unpacking tuples
      • 15.4.1 Packing a tuple
      • 15.4.2 Unpacking a tuple
      • 15.4.3 Real-life examples
    • 15.5 Tuple vs list operations
      • 15.5.1 Tuple slices
      • 15.5.2 Adding elements to a tuple
      • 15.5.3 Finding elements
      • 15.5.4 Removing elements
      • 15.5.5 Looping
      • 15.5.6 In case of emergency
    • 15.6 Pros and cons of immutability
  • 16 Exceptions
    • 16.1 Program errors
    • 16.2 What are exceptions
    • 16.3 Exception types
      • 16.3.1 ImportError
      • 16.3.2 IndexError
      • 16.3.3 TypeError
      • 16.3.4 ValueError
      • 16.3.5 ZeroDivisionError
    • 16.4 Catching exceptions
      • 16.4.1 Only catch exceptions you can handle
      • 16.4.2 Accessing the exception message
    • 16.5 Using else with exceptions
    • 16.6 Using finally with exceptions
    • 16.7 Throwing exceptions
  • 17 Working with files
    • 17.1 Using files
      • 17.1.1 Opening the file
      • 17.1.2 Reading and writing data
      • 17.1.3 Closing the file
    • 17.2 Reading data
      • 17.2.1 Code for reading a file
      • 17.2.2 Reading lines from a file
      • 17.2.3 Looping over the lines in a file
    • 17.3 Writing data
      • 17.3.1 Code to write a file
      • 17.3.2 The write function
    • 17.4 Using with statements
    • 17.5 CSV data
      • 17.5.1 Reading CSV data
      • 17.5.2 Trying the code
      • 17.5.3 Formatting the output
      • 17.5.4 Writing CSV data
      • 17.5.5 Understanding the code
      • 17.5.6 Trying the code
  • 18 More books from this author
    • 18.1 Numpy Recipes
    • 18.2 Computer Graphics in Python with Pycairo
    • 18.3 Functional Programming in Python

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