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Programming Social Applications by Jonathan LeBlanc

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Setting Up Your Python Environment

When it comes to hosting and running projects quickly, the Google App Engine environment is an excellent tool. For the most part, the Python examples in this text are all run from App Engine, using a simple YAML file for configuration.

To install App Engine:

  1. Go to http://code.google.com/appengine/ and sign up for an App Engine account.

  2. Head to the download page and select your appropriate system download to install the App Engine SDK: http://code.google.com/appengine/downloads.html. This will be the environment in which you can run Python programs off localhost.

Using the SDK, you can simply load a YAML configuration file for the project, start the project, and then head to localhost with the appropriate project port in a browser window.

If you would like to run Python via a terminal window, you can install it simply by heading to the Python project download page at http://www.python.org/download/, picking the appropriate installer for your system, and then going through the installation steps from the installer.

Another option for working in a terminal window is ActivePython, available at http://www.activestate.com/activepython. The community edition is free and has a number of advantages over the standard download from http://www.python.org.

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