Introduction

Python is a general-purpose, object-oriented, and open source computer programming language.

Python is probably the easiest-to-learn and nicest-to-use programming language in widespread use. Python code is clear to read and write, and it is concise without being cryptic. Python is a very expressive language, which means that we can usually write far fewer lines of Python code than would be required for an equivalent application written in, say, C++ or Java.

Python is a cross-platform language: In general, the same Python program can be run onWindows and Unix-like systems such as Linux, BSD, and Mac OS X, simply by copying the file or files that make up the program to the target machine, with no “building” or compiling necessary.

Python can be used to program in procedural, object-oriented, and to a lesser extent, in functional style, although at heart Python is an object-oriented language.

One of Python’s great strengths is that it comes with a very complete standard library—this allows us to do such things as download a file from the Internet, unpack a compressed archive file, or create a web server, all with just one or a few lines of code. And in addition to the standard library, thousands of thirdparty libraries are available, some providing more powerful and sophisticated facilities than the standard library.

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