I've reviewed these resources and highly recommend them. I periodically update this page, but it may be out of date.
- 1 Learning Python
- 2 Using Python
- 3 Building Web Applications
- 4 Advanced Python
You need to be able to run Python programs. You have three options:
- Although Python is pre-installed on many computers, you should download and install the Anaconda Python distribution. It has all of the packages you need.
- Alternatively, you can learn it entirely using web-based Jupyter notebooks.
If you don't know how to program
If you have never programmed with Python before, you may want to start with DataCamp's Learn python by example:
I also recommend:
If you know how to program
If you know another programming language (e.g. C, C++, FORTRAN, Java, etc.), you can learn Python in about 2 hours.
Start by reading the Python Tutorial:
I then recommend reading the documentation:
- Official Python Documentation. Just read the documentation. Honestly. It's well-written.
- Python Tips (book, online for free)
- Python Google Style Guide.
Recommended packages and tools for different tasks
- PyCharm, free for educational use (if you have a .edu email address)
- Jupyter Notebook (comes with Anaconda; also available for free on the Web to try
Nice blog entries:
- Building a Financial Model with Pandas, looks at mortgage calculator
- Python for Finance: Analyzing Big Financial Data (O'Reilly)
- Financial Modelling in Python (Wiley Finance)
Numerical Data Processing
- numpy - numeric analysis in python (needed for matplotlib)
- pandas or SparkSQL
- tabulate - create tables easily (but see my tytable replacement)
- https://pyformat.info --- Big how-to on using the % and .format() formatting
- Use Pillow, the Python2/3 fork of Python Image Library (PIL).
- matplotlib - a handy system for plotting in python. (Short example of using matplotlib within jupyter)
- Altair: Declarative Visualization in Python
- geopy - geocoding for Python
- Seaborn. (See Datacamp Tutorial)
- Graphics.py: http://mcsp.wartburg.edu/zelle/python/graphics.py http://mcsp.wartburg.edu/zelle/python/ http://mcsp.wartburg.edu/zelle/python/graphics/graphics.pdf
- HTML graphics: http://anh.cs.luc.edu/python/hands-on/3.1/handsonHtml/graphics.html
- http://www.pygame.org/ pygame - a Python game development system
- PEAK Easy Install
- Crystal Space 3D
- VPython 3D Programming in Python
Python contains built-in support for SQLite3.
For using MySQL, you'll need a connector. There are many available.
Install MySQL connector on anaconda:
conda install mysql-connector-python
Then you can:
import mysql.connector as mysql c = mysql.connect(host=host,database=db,user=user,password=password)
I generally prefer PyMySQL, as it's pure-python and has fewer dependencies.
Python GUI Options
I need to write some programs that use GUI.
- pyqt - Use PyQT5 (it's part of Anaconda)
- FLTK, the Fast Light Toolkit
However, I strongly recommend writing your python program as a web-based app (see next section)
Building Web Applications
You basically have two options:
- Write a CGI script (slow, but easy. Don't use for more than 1 request every 10 seconds)
- Some sort of Web Server Gateway Interface (WSGI). Options include:
- Bottle (easy, and the whole thing runs from a single file)
- Flask (can run on Apache with Passenger, but needs its own domain name)
- Writing your own (don't do this.)
The WSGI server needs to be run from a program that receives the Port80 connections. The two ways I've done this are:
- mod_wsgi running within Apache. (This works surprisingly well and allows you to run bottle or flask side-by-side other systems)
- CherryPy (Includes its own web server and will hand off to Bottle or Flas.)
For more information, see:
- See also https://wiki.python.org/moin/WebFrameworks
If you are using anything other CGI, you need some way to tell the web server to reload your python program. (You don't need to do this with CGI---it reloads Python and your program every time you serve another request. That's why it's so slow...)
To reload your program on Dreamhost with passenger:
$ touch tmp/restart.txt # reload your program
To reload your program with mod_wsgi:
$ touch wsgi_app.py
Using Passengers on Dreamhost:
Writing a full application with Apache, Bottle and MongoDB:
- Fluent Python: Clear, Concise, and Effective Programming (you can get it on Safari)