Python : Introduction, Uses and Features


What is Python (Programming)? - The Basics

Python is an object-oriented programming language created by Guido Rossum in 1989. It is ideally designed for rapid prototyping of complex applications. It has interfaces to many OS system calls and libraries and is extensible to C or C++. Many large companies use the Python programming language include NASA, Google, YouTube, BitTorrent, etc. Like Perl, Python source code is also available under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

Python is a general-purpose language. It has wide range of applications from Web development (like: Django and Bottle), scientific and mathematical computing (Orange, SymPy, NumPy) to desktop graphical user Interfaces (Pygame, Panda3D).
Python is widely used in Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Generation, Neural Networks and other advanced fields of Computer Science. Python had deep focus on code readability. You can use python for building GUI application, Create Websites, Scrape data from website, Analyse Data, System Administration Task, Game Development.

The syntax of the language is clean and length of the code is relatively short. It's fun to work in Python because it allows you to think about the problem rather than focusing on the syntax.  
Example:
#!/usr/bin/python

print "Hello, Python!"

Python is a high-level, interpreted, interactive and object-oriented scripting language. Python is designed to be highly readable. It uses English keywords frequently where as other languages use punctuation, and it has fewer syntactical constructions than other languages.
  • Python is Interpreted − Python is processed at runtime by the interpreter. You do not need to compile your program before executing it. This is similar to PERL and PHP.
  • Python is Interactive − You can actually sit at a Python prompt and interact with the interpreter directly to write your programs.
  • Python is Object-Oriented − Python supports Object-Oriented style or technique of programming that encapsulates code within objects.
  • Python is a Beginner's Language − Python is a great language for the beginner-level programmers and supports the development of a wide range of applications from simple text processing to WWW browsers to games. 
Python Features

Python's features include −
  • 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.
Apart from the above-mentioned features, Python has a big list of good features, few are listed below
  • 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.
Your First Python Program
Often, a program called "Hello, World!" is used to introduce a new programming language to beginners. A "Hello, World!" is a simple program that outputs "Hello, World!".
However, Python is one of the easiest language to learn, and creating "Hello, World!" program is as simple as writing print("Hello, World!")So, we are going to write a different program.
Program to Add Two Numbers 

# Add two numbers
num1 = 3
num2 = 5
sum = num1+num2
print(sum)

How this program works?

Line 1: # Add two numbers

Any line starting with # in Python programming is a comment.

Comments are used in programming to describe the purpose of the code. This helps you as well as other programmers to understand the intent of the code. Comments are completely ignored by compilers and interpreters.

Line 2: num1 = 3

Here, num1 is a variable. You can store a value in a variable. Here, 3 is stored in this variable.

Line 3: num2 = 5

Similarly, 5 is stored in num2 variable.

Line 4: sum = num1+num2

The variables num1 and num2 are added using + operator. The result of addition is then stored in another variable sum.

Line 5: print(sum)
The print() function prints the output to the screen. In our case, it prints 8 on the screen.

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