A Quick, Painless Tutorial on the Python Language

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Languages like C and C++ allow a programmer to write code at a very detailed level which has good execution speed (especially in the case of C). But in most applications, execution speed is not important, and in many cases one would prefer to write at a higher level. For example, for text-manipulation applications, the basic unit in C/C++ is a character, while for languages like Perl and Python the basic units are lines of text and words within lines. One can work with lines and words in C/C++, but one must go to greater effort to accomplish the same thing.

The term scripting language has never been formally defined, but here are the typical characteristics: Used often for system administration, Web programming, text processing, etc. Very casual with regard to typing of variables, e.g. little or no distinction between integer, floatingpoint or string variables. Arrays can mix elements of different “types,” such as integers and strings. Functions can return nonscalars, e.g. arrays. Nonscalars can be used as loop indexes. Etc. Lots of high-level operations intrinsic to the language, e.g. string concatenation and stack push/pop. Interpreted, rather than being compiled to the instruction set of the host machine. Download free A Quick, Painless Tutorial on the Python Language here

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