Python

Python is a popular programming language. It was created by Guido van Rossum, and released in 1991. Like Perl, Python source code is also available under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

It is used for:

  • web development (server-side),
  • software development,
  • mathematics,
  • system scripting.

Why to Learn Python?

  • Python works on different platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, etc).
  • Python has a simple syntax similar to the English language.
  • Python has syntax that allows developers to write programs with fewer lines than some other programming languages.
  • Python runs on an interpreter system, meaning that code can be executed as soon as it is written. This means that prototyping can be very quick.
  • Python can be treated in a procedural way, an object-oriented way or a functional way.

Characteristics of Python

Following are important characteristics of Python Programming −

  • It supports functional and structured programming methods as well as OOP.
  • It can be used as a scripting language or can be compiled to byte-code for building large applications.
  • It provides very high-level dynamic data types and supports dynamic type checking.
  • It supports automatic garbage collection.
  • It can be easily integrated with C, C++, COM, ActiveX, CORBA, and Java.

Hello World using Python.

Just to give you a little excitement about Python, I’m going to give you a small conventional Python Hello World program, You can try it using given code.

print ("Hello, Python!");

Applications of Python

As mentioned before, Python is one of the most widely used language over the web. I’m going to list few of them here:

  • Easy-to-learn − Python has few keywords, simple structure, and a clearly defined syntax. This allows the student to pick up the language quickly.
  • Easy-to-read − Python code is more clearly defined and visible to the eyes.
  • Easy-to-maintain − Python’s source code is fairly easy-to-maintain.
  • A broad standard library − Python’s bulk of the library is very portable and cross-platform compatible on UNIX, Windows, and Macintosh.
  • Interactive Mode − Python has support for an interactive mode which allows interactive testing and debugging of snippets of code.
  • Portable − Python can run on a wide variety of hardware platforms and has the same interface on all platforms.
  • Extendable − 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.
  • Databases − Python provides interfaces to all major commercial databases.
  • GUI Programming − Python supports GUI applications that can be created and ported to many system calls, libraries and windows systems, such as Windows MFC, Macintosh, and the X Window system of Unix.
  • Scalable − Python provides a better structure and support for large programs than shell scripting.

Python Keywords and Identifiers

keywords (reserved words in Python) and identifiers (names given to variables, functions, etc.).

Python Keywords

Keywords are the reserved words in Python.

We cannot use a keyword as a variable name, function name or any other identifier. They are used to define the syntax and structure of the Python language.

In Python, keywords are case sensitive.

There are 33 keywords in Python 3.7. This number can vary slightly over the course of time.

All the keywords except TrueFalse and None are in lowercase and they must be written as they are. The list of all the keywords is given below.

Falseawaitelseimportpass
Nonebreakexceptinraise
Trueclassfinallyisreturn
andcontinueforlambdatry
asdeffromnonlocalwhile
assertdelglobalnotwith
asyncelififoryield

Python Identifiers

An identifier is a name given to entities like class, functions, variables, etc. It helps to differentiate one entity from another.

Rules for writing identifiers

  1. Identifiers can be a combination of letters in lowercase (a to z) or uppercase (A to Z) or digits (0 to 9) or an underscore _. Names like myClassvar_1 and print_this_to_screen, all are valid example.
  2. An identifier cannot start with a digit. 1variable is invalid, but variable1 is a valid name.
  3. Keywords cannot be used as identifiers.
  4. We cannot use special symbols like !@#$% etc. in our identifier.
  5. An identifier can be of any length.

Things to Remember

Python is a case-sensitive language. This means, Variable and variable are not the same.

Always give the identifiers a name that makes sense. While c = 10 is a valid name, writing count = 10 would make more sense, and it would be easier to figure out what it represents when you look at your code after a long gap.

Multiple words can be separated using an underscore, like this_is_a_long_variable.

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