Python is a high-level, interpreted (processed at runtime by the interpreter, no need to compile our program before executing it but it also can be compiled to byte-code for building large scale applications), interactive (Python has support for an interactive mode that allows interactive testing and debugging of snippets of code), object-oriented (a programming language model that organizes software design around data, or objects), functional (create a set of instruction within a function block) and structured programming (conditional programming) scripting language. Python provides very high-level dynamic data types (A dynamic type escapes type checking at compile-time; instead, it resolves type at run time) and supports dynamic type checking. It supports automatic garbage collection just like Java. Python can be easily integrated with C, C++, COM, ActiveX, CORBA, and Java. Python’s bulk of the library is very portable and cross-platform compatible with UNIX, Windows, and Macintosh. Python can run on a wide variety of operating systems (Windows, Linux, and Mac) and has almost the same interface on all platforms. You can add low-level modules to the Python interpreter. These modules enable programmers to add to or customize their tools to be more efficient. Python provides interfaces to all major commercial databases. Python supports GUI applications that can be created using Tkinter.
Python is used in server-side web development, desktop software development, develop the mathematics solution (using NumPy) and system scripting. Python uses English keywords just like other programming languages which makes it so easy to learn and understand. Python also can connect to database systems or read and modify files on your computer hard drive.
The most recent version of Python is Python 3.8.2, which we shall be using in this tutorial series. However, Python 2, although not being updated with anything other than security updates, is still quite popular because some old python modules are still based on Python 2 instead of 3 to operate!
Here are two quick facts about Python programming code structure.
- The semicolon is not needed in Python code.
- Python relies on indentation, using whitespace, to define scope; such as the scope of loops, functions, and classes instead of curly-brackets for this purpose!
There are a few great Python IDEs such as PyCharm, Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio as well as Thonny that you can use to develop the Python projects. Feel free to try them all and find out which one suits you the best.
There you have it, this will mark the beginning of our Python programming language tutorial series. In the next chapter, we will start our first Python lesson.