Learning Python

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Learning Python

Postby FreeImposter on Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:11 am

First of all, I'd like to apologise if this topic is in the wrong place. It seemed the best fit based on some of the other posts I've read here. Second, I'm also sorry if this post is just a reproduction of something older, I did a quick search and couldn't find anything specific.

I'm interested in learning to program. It's something that's been nagging at me somewhere near my brain stem for almost a decade now. I've done a fair amount of research, and although it's just opinion, Python seems to be a fair choice as a first language. I do have some minimal experience with FreeBASIC, but that was when I was around the age of twelve or thirteen ( I'm currently a handsome twenty-two :mrgreen: ), and I have not taken any coding up since then.

Anyway, the point of all of this is to hopefully get some response back as to some great resources and/or tutorials, free courses online, etc. I'm looking for works that will teach a complete beginner, as if I have NO prior experience or knowlege (which I might as well not have considering how long it's been). I have done some Google work myself, and come up with a few, but I know there are a lot of experienced coders here on the Mint forums, so I thought I'd ask. Thanks guys!
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Re: Learning Python

Postby gorfou on Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:17 am

The python tutorial is the first place to go if you want to learn python! Try it, but it you're looking for somethong with a simpler approach, you might want to search the web for sites like le site du zéro, a french-speaking site directed "towards dummies that want to learn programming".

Well python is currently my preferred language, I recommend you to begin by a strongly typed language, and an object-oriented one since it's easier to think in oo paradigm. I started with java, but you can make your own choice!

Anyway, it's a good idea and good luck!

EDIT: dive into python is good as well, i use it as complement to the official python tutorial.
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Re: Learning Python

Postby Aging Technogeek on Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:40 am

Another source for learning the basics of Python. Do not be put off by the title.

http://learnpythonthehardway.org/
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Re: Learning Python

Postby nunol on Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:56 am

There are many good books about Python, here is a free one:
- Web page: http://greenteapress.com/thinkpython/thinkpython.html
- PDF: http://greenteapress.com/thinkpython/thinkpython.pdf
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Re: Learning Python

Postby xenopeek on Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:13 am

+1 to Learn Python the Hard Way website. The hard way being you actually have to program, instead of just reading a bit. Programming is easy, I've been doing it since I was 7 or 8. The hard part is finding your bugs :wink: After you have done some tutorial bits, just think of something small you want to do in Python, then think on how you can split that up in a few main tasks and start writing. Use Google for examples. Make mistakes, get stuck, it is all fine as long as you continue programming. As an analogy, you can learn to play an instrument without a book or instructor, as long as you practice, practice, practice. You can't learn to play an instrument from a book or instructor without practicing. Programming is just as much an art; practice and don't be afraid to make some false notes early on :lol:

I always keep the Python documentation open in a browser; you can really learn a lot from there also (once you understand some programming concepts). http://docs.python.org/py3k/

As an example of a small project you could do (or something similar), to get started with Python I wrote a reminder program, that reminds me of recurring events like birthdays and such a few days in advance. I'm horrible at remembering things like that, so it sounded like something useful for me and small enough to not get lost in complexity. The completed program is just 60 lines long, reads the dates from a file where recurrence can be either monthly or yearly and it has some special cases for things like summertime and wintertime (last sunday of a month), it is configurable per date how many days in advance it should remind me and it uses the zenity command easily display the message in a friendly way (would probably use libnotify today).

Keep it small for your early projects. And make frequent backups of your code, either using a version control like Subversion or something similar, or by just making a copy of your files. You will find one day you break something, and you can't recall how the code was yesterday when everything still worked :wink:
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Re: Learning Python

Postby FreeImposter on Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:00 pm

Thanks for the information and the tips guys! I've already had the official Python web page (and the subsequent tutorial(s)) bookmarked, have added others. Learn Python The Hard Way is another one I've seen people talking about. I will definitely give it a try. I appreciate the responses, and look forward to diving back into some coding. :)
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