Python was created by Guido van Rossum at Stichting Mathematisch Cen-trum in the Netherlands in the early 1980s. There are various programming languages available such as C, C++, Java and C#. But unlike all these programming languages Python is very simple with more powerful syntax. Python is used by various software companies such as Google, Dropbox, Facebook, NASA, and Yahoo. After creation in the leading years Python has improved into an extensively used high level language. Python is an interpreted language. By interpreted language we mean that the source code of a Python program is converted into `bytecode’, which is then executed by the Python virtual machine.
Advantages of Python
Python is widely used programming language these days especially in Machine Learning and Data Science. Some of the advantages of python are as follows:
- Python is a relatively easy-to-learn language.
- Python is a multi-purpose programming language. It supports object oriented programming, structured programming, functional programming, and even aspect oriented programming.
- Python has a vast number of modules easily accessible which can be promptly installed and used.
- Python is an open source programming language and supported by a larger developer community which makes it robust and adaptive
Setting Up a Python Environment
Anaconda is a packaged collection of Python along with a entire suite of a variety of libraries. The Anaconda distribution is BSD licensed and hence it allows us to use it for commercial and redistribution purposes. A major benefit of this distribution is that we don’t need an elaborate setup and it works good on all favors of operating systems and platforms, especially Windows, which can frequently cause trouble with installing specific Python packages.
The first step in setting up the environment with the required Anaconda distribution is downloading the necessary installation package from https://www.anaconda.com/download/, which is the supplier of the Anaconda distribution.
We have selected the Windows operating system and we wanted to make sure we cover those details. If you are using any other operating system like Linux or MacOSX, download the right version for your operating system and install it.
Installing the downloaded is very simple, you just need to double-clicking the install and letting the installer take care of the whole activity. To check if the installation was successful, just open a command prompt or terminal and start up Python by typing python on the command prompt. You should be greeted with the message shown in Figure identifying the Python version.
We also suggest that you use the iPython shell (the command is ipython) instead of the regular Python shell, because you get a lot of features including inline plots, auto-complete, and so on.
Python Starting Screen
Features of Python
Python is very rich in functionality. Some of the reasons why python is used in almost every application by various organizations are as follows:
⚫ Simple and easy to learn
⚫ Freeware and Open Source
⚫ Dynamically Typed
⚫ Extensive Library
Usability of Python
These days python is used everywhere in almost every application. Some of the uses of python are given below:
⚫ Desktop and Web Publishing
⚫ Database Applications
⚫ Networking Applications
⚫ Data Analysis
⚫ Data Science
⚫ Machine Learning
⚫ IoT and AI applications
Limitations of Python
⚫ Performance and Speed
⚫ Incompatibility of Two Versions
⚫ Application Portability
⚫ Requires Additional Testing
⚫ Lacks Web Development Capabilities
⚫ Weak in Mobile Computing
⚫ Depends on Third-Party Frameworks and Libraries
⚫ No Option to Embed Block Comments
⚫ Many Python Modules Lack Adequate Support
⚫ Does not Provide Prebuilt Statistical Models and Tests