“Programming Python: The Short Story”

If you are like most people, when you pick up a book as large as this one, you’d like to know a little about what you’re going to be learning before you roll up your sleeves. That’s what this chapter is for—it provides a demonstration of some of the kinds of things you can do with Python, before getting into the details. You won’t learn much here, and if you’re looking for explanations of the tools and techniques applied in this chapter, you’ll have to read on to later parts of the book. The point here is just to whet your appetite, review a few Python basics, and preview some of the topics to come.

To do this, I’ll pick a fairly simple application task—constructing a database of records—and migrate it through multiple steps: interactive coding, command-line tools, console interfaces, GUIs, and simple web-based interfaces. Along the way, we’ll also peek at concepts such as data representation, object persistence, and object-oriented programming (OOP); I’ll mention some alternatives that we’ll revisit later in the book; and I’ll review some core Python ideas that you should be aware of before reading this book. Ultimately, we’ll wind up with a database of Python class instances, which can be browsed and changed from a variety of interfaces.

I’ll cover additional topics in this book, of course, but the techniques you will see here are representative of some of the domains we’ll explore later. And again, if you don’t completely understand the programs ...

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