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biggjoee5790

which python program?

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Hi everyone, I was wondering which form of Python is best? The version on Pythons website, or ActivePython? Also are there any really good books for an absolute beginner wanting to learn Python as a first language?

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I'd recommend just grabbing the latest version from python.org. I'm not too sure what this ActivePython is, looks like Python + some tools/libraries. As for learning Python, it's a pretty easy language to pick up. Run through the tutorials in the official documentation, it's pretty good.

You can also take a look at Dive into Python (available for free online). It was written with a bit older version of Python though.

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so the download from python.org is ALL i need to use python? I downloaded it but im not sure if Im supposed to use IDLE or the Command Line

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Either. I prefer the command line at the moment, but you should use whatever gets in your way least at this stage.

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I use IDLE.

Ive never used ActivePython, but I would go with the version on Pythons site.

I used this tutorial to start: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Non-Programmer's_Tutorial_for_Python
Its a really nifty tutorial, very descriptive, easy to follow for people who dont program.

Quote:
The >>> is Python's way of telling you that you are in interactive mode. In interactive mode what you type is immediately run. Try typing 1+1 in. Python will respond with 2. Interactive mode allows you to test out and see what Python will do. If you ever feel you need to play with new Python statements go into interactive mode and try them out.

- Non-Programmers Tutorial Excerpt

To actual start a program, save it, etc, you need to go to File-> New Window

Hope I could help!

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ActivePython bundles Pythonwin, which is very useful. It's like IDLE, but it also supports graphical debugging. One thing to watch out for is that Pythonwin is, itself, written in Python, and if you're debugging a program which crashes, it will take down the IDE (because, apparently, the debug target is run in an interpreter spawned off the same interpreter running the IDE, or something).

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I don't hardly any python, but I do "use" it ... running python programs and occasionally tweaking them or their config. And I like the Active? versions a lot. I use ActivePerl and ActivePython. All they are is bundles of things commonly desired on Windows. Including the interpreter package, extra libraries pre-included (and often windows oriented ones), text-editors, IDEs and / or debuggers when decent small ones exist. And often support for auto-configuring Apache and/or IIS to be able to use them. So if you write web-apps too they are great.

For ruby I use the windows one-click installer which is just like the ActiveState distros, langauge, libraries, editor, etc.

I run my scripts on the command line, but I use the included editors / IDEs to edit them.

There is no real downside to getting the bundles, they don't do anything "special" you can install further libraries EXACTLY like the raw distrobutions - they have just done some for you.

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