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Head First Python, 2nd Edition by Paul Barry

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Appendix D. Top Ten Projects not Covered: Even More Tools, Libraries, and Modules

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We know what you’re thinking as you read this appendix’s title.

Why on Earth didn’t they make the title of the last appendix: The Top Twenty Things We Didn’t Cover? Why another 10? In the last appendix, we limited our discussion to stuff that comes baked in to Python (part of the language’s “batteries included”). In this appendix, we cast the net much further afield, discussing a whole host of technologies that are available to you because Python exists. There’s lots of good stuff here and—just like with the last appendix—a quick perusal won’t hurt you one single bit.

1. Alternatives to >>>

Throughout this book we’ve happily worked at Python’s built-in >>> prompt, either from within a terminal window or from within IDLE. In doing so, we hope we’ve demonstrated just how effective using the >>> prompt can be when you’re experimenting with ideas, exploring libraries, and trying out code.

There are lots of alternatives to the built-in >>> prompt, but the one that gets the most attention is called ipython, and if you find yourself wishing you could do more at the >>> prompt, ipython is worth a look. It is very popular with many Python programmers, but is especially popular within the scientific community.

To give you an idea of what ipython can do compared to the plain ol’ >>> prompt, consider this short interactive ...

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