Install Python on your Workstation or Laptop
Python is free to install. You can install it from the Python web site. Note that we will use Python 3.x, and not the older 2.x releases. because it matches the textbook. See below for an explanation of program release number.
Install Python from the Python web site
Python will now be among your installed programs:
To start the IDLE IDE, click start --> All Programs >> Python 3.x --> IDLE (Python GUI)
Installation of the Wing IDE 101 Package
The Python package from python.org contains an IDE (IDLE). This IDE works and it is simple to run, but it is prone to crashing. A better IDE is Wing IDE 101. This is a free package specifically for introductory programming classes. Wing IDE 101 is already installed on the lab machines. If you want it for your machine, here are the steps:
Installation of the Graphics Package
There should be a small file in the Python3.x folder that was created by the Python install called graphics.py. It will be in the folder C:\Python3x\Lib\site-packages (or whatever drive you installed Python on). This file is on all the lab machines already.
If you install Python on your own machine, make sure the graphics.py file is in the path mentioned above. If it is not there, the instructions to get the file are below:
You can verify that it is installed successfully, by typing in the Python shell:
import graphicsIf you get an error message, Python cannot find the graphics file. Make sure it is in the correct folder.
Running a Python program
You do not want to start a Python program running by double clicking on the icon of the .py file on your desktop! It will run the program in the command window, which immediately closes after the program finishes. You should start the IDE of your choice first (Wing IDE or IDLE) and then use File / open from the menus to get your file open. Then you can run it.
An explanation of program release numbers
Python is free and maintained by the Python Software Foundation. There is a 3.2 version on lab machines on UK campus. You may find older releases (2.x) on campus lab workstations. Only use Python 3.2 (or higher) for this class. The previous releases are incompatible with the textbook.
Programs have an associated release number. As program bugs are fixed and new features added, the release number changes. Python has three numbers associated with it separated by periods, for example: "Python 3.x.y"
The first number (3) is a major release number. It starts at 1 and only is incremented when major new features are added. The second number (x) is a minor release number. It is incremented for small changes or fixes that don't affect the users. The third number (represented by y) is a fix number within the minor release number. Any time the developers change the program to fix a problem, this number is incremented.