Ubuntu Demon\’s blog

June 6, 2007

Learning resources for Python

Filed under: Uncategorized — ubuntudemon @ 1:48 pm

I got a nice e-mail today from someone who is searching for good resources for learning python. I’m quoting the relevant part :

I wanted you impression on the best resource to begin learning Python. I will
be using the geany IDE for starting out unless you have a stronger impression else where.

Would love to have your input.

One of the best learning resources for me was Dive Into Python. Dive Into Python is a book about Python written for experienced programmers by Mark Pilgrim. The complete text is also available online and as a package (diveintopython). If you install the package you can find the book in /usr/share/doc/diveintopython/html/index.html

Once you start coding I’m sure you need to look up things :

Once you feel comfortable with python you might be interested in these links :

Picking the right editor is mostly a matter of personal taste. Some people prefer emacs, vim or vi and feel very strong about it. Personally I’ve been using nano and gedit until I discovered Geany this week. If you have been using windows I would personally recommend you to start with Geany.

If you are into videos try searching http://video.google.com. If you like reading programming related geek news then take a look at http://programming.reddit.com which sometimes has an interesting Python related story.

If you know other great resources feel free to reply to this blog post :).



  1. Stani’s Python Editor is pretty strong.

    (apt-get install spe)

    Might be a suggestion to use that over geany.

    Comment by jh — June 6, 2007 @ 3:27 pm

  2. Hey,

    suggestion for video-tutorials:


    Maybe it helps …

    Comment by st3-f — June 6, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

  3. SPE is now being developed on Ubuntu. I strongly recommend using SPE from subversion as it is optimized for Ubuntu.

    After trying out Geany, I can confirm that SPE is much more Python friendly as geany. Interesting for newbies is the integration of pychecker, a debugger and realtime error syntax underlining.

    Comment by Stani — June 6, 2007 @ 5:32 pm

  4. Sorry this is the right link for downloading and installing SPE:

    Comment by Stani — June 6, 2007 @ 5:35 pm

  5. Of course, the only true way to learn python is to first learn to write using x86 assembler. Then you can move up to C. Once you’ve written a few non-trivial programs in C you can experiment briefly with Perl (but only briefly, or you get addicted and will forever stay on the dark path). Only then are you truly prepared to understand the brilliance of Python. he he. 😉

    Comment by Matt Nuzum — June 6, 2007 @ 7:02 pm

  6. I found “A Byte of Python” very good for an introduction to Python:

    A nice reference of the most used commands and functions, all on one page, is the “Python Quick Reference”:

    For KDE users and especially if you want to have a look into GUI programming with Python and Qt/KDE, Eric is a fine IDE (available as an Ubuntu package also):

    Comment by Sanne — June 6, 2007 @ 9:52 pm

  7. If you want to build something big and/or want to prevent bugs the following page lists some testing tools :


    IMHO Source Code Checking Tools (unittest,doctest,..,) and Unit Testing Tools (pychecker,pyflakes,pylint) seem to be most useful.

    Comment by ubuntudemon — June 6, 2007 @ 10:34 pm

  8. I am doing a GSoC project that will teach python and answer your friends very question.
    I would love your advice as it develops.
    Post some advice.

    Comment by skunkyjay — June 7, 2007 @ 9:23 am

  9. to skunkyjay :

    Welcome to Planet Ubuntu 🙂

    IMHO this picture describes best at what you are aiming to do with pystart :

    I don’t know much about teaching people.

    Maybe some of the resources that are listed here are suitable for a “find out more about Python” tab in pystart.

    Good luck with your project !


    Comment by ubuntudemon — June 7, 2007 @ 9:56 am

  10. This is a bit more advanced, but have a look at http://norvig.com/ for some short examples of how you can make python do impressive things. Peter Norvig is Google’s director of research, and his site has several programs that are perfect examples of how to write idiomatic Python.

    e.g. his spelling corrector in 21 lines: http://norvig.com/spell-correct.html

    Comment by Dan — June 7, 2007 @ 12:48 pm

  11. Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. Keep them coming for the benefit of people new to Python :).

    Comment by ubuntudemon — June 7, 2007 @ 3:38 pm

  12. I was the originator of the question and would like to thank all of you for a great post with replies. There is much information here for me to go over. I think I will be busy for quite some time.

    Comment by David M — June 7, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

  13. Firefox python sidebar:


    Comment by Ubuwu — June 8, 2007 @ 6:48 pm

  14. to Ubuwu :

    That one was already listed 😉

    Comment by ubuntudemon — June 8, 2007 @ 8:04 pm

  15. I know we haven’t finished them by now but you can have a look at the experimental python documentation here: http://pydoc.gbrandl.de:3000/ 😀


    Comment by Armin Ronacher — June 9, 2007 @ 4:32 am

  16. I made a small update to my blog post

    Comment by ubuntudemon — June 14, 2007 @ 10:56 am

  17. i collect a lot infos. see


    feel free to spend a link 🙂

    — für eine faire arbeitsbwelt —

    Comment by macdet — October 15, 2007 @ 8:11 am

  18. The following links are probably more suitable for new programmers / non-programmers :


    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 18, 2008 @ 11:21 pm

  19. Another link for programmers :

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 18, 2008 @ 11:32 pm

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