Newbie Help

Ben Finney ben+python at
Tue Jan 3 19:35:53 EST 2012

mixolydian <mixolydian at postersRUS> writes:

> I want to get into Python progamming for both local database
> applications and dynamic web pages. Maybe some Q&D scripts.

Welcome to the Python community. You have found a good general-purpose
programming language, and I hope you find the right help for what you're
trying to do.

> I would like some advice on:
>   1. IDEs

I advise against language-specific IDEs. You should learn at least one
general-purpose programming environment, making sure to choose one that

* Free software, so that its maintenance and longevity is not at the
  mercy of any particular organisation.

* Powerful and flexible, so that it's easy for experts to make it
  support specific programming languages and tasks.

* Mature, so that it has a great deal of such support for many languages
  and tasks already written by such experts.

* Actively maintained by a vibrant and open developer community, so that
  you can be confident it will continue to adapt to changing needs.

* Cross-platform, so that you're not denied the use of any popular
  workstation OS.

For my purposes, either { GNU Screen + Bash + Emacs } or { GNU Screen +
Bash + Vim } are good choices satisfying all the above criteria. There
may be other good combinations.

>   2. GUI tools, tkinter and others

Tkinter has become much more flexible and “modern” in recent years. See
<URL:> for a good tutorial on using Tk for GUI design;
it focuses on Tk and presents examples in many languages, including

>   3. An integrated web server package for Win Vista

Can't help you there, I don't find Windows to meet my criteria for a
good development nor deployment environment.

> More info.I will be migrating data base apps from MSAccess 2000. I
> know, I know, but it was free on my original Win 95 PC.

You will want to learn SQL and relational databases. As a distinct task,
you *might* want to learn to operate a database server.

Python comes with SQLite included, so you can learn a functional SQL
database system without entangling it with the complications of running
a server.

Once you reach the point where a dedicated database server is needed, I
would recommend going to the best: PostgreSQL. But again, you can delay
that until after you are familiar with SQLite.

> I've been programming for 50 years and have had to learn (and unlearn)
> a lot, and I'm eager to learn new stuff.

Good hunting to you.

 \             “We can't depend for the long run on distinguishing one |
  `\         bitstream from another in order to figure out which rules |
_o__)               apply.” —Eben Moglen, _Anarchism Triumphant_, 1999 |
Ben Finney

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