Python is a popular language for scientific computing, and great for general-purpose programming as well. Installing all of its scientific packages individually can be a bit difficult, so we recommend Anaconda, an all-in-one installer.
Regardless of how you choose to install it, please make sure you install Python version 3.x (e.g., 3.4 is fine).
We will teach Python using the Jupyter notebook, a programming environment that runs in a web browser. For this to work you will need a reasonably up-to-date browser. The current versions of the Chrome, Safari and Firefox browsers are all supported (some older browsers, including Internet Explorer version 9 and below, are not). Enumerated below are setup instructions for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Please setup your python environment at least a day in advance of the workshop. If you encounter problems with the installation procedure, please ask your workshop organizers via e-mail for assistance getting set up.
Open http://continuum.io/downloads with your web browser.
Download the Python 3 installer for OS X.
Install Python 3 using all of the defaults for installation. Note that installation requires using the shell, if you aren’t comfortable doing then installation yourself then stop here and request help before the workshop begins.
Open a terminal window.
$ bash Anaconda3-
and press tab. The name of the file you just downloaded should appear.
Press enter. You will follow the text-only prompts. When there is a colon
at the bottom of the screen press the down arrow to move down through the text.
yes and press enter to approve the license. Press enter to approve the
default location for the files. Type
yes and press enter to prepend Anaconda to
PATH (this makes the Anaconda distribution the default Python).
We’ll have at least one lesson covering python scripting from the command line. For this section, we recommend using whichever text editor and shell (e.g. emacs/vim and bash) you typically use to program. If you’re not familiar with the command line or a text editor, Anaconda (detailed above) ships with a Python IDE, Spyder, which you can use to set up a text editor and command line window side-by-side. You can do this by
The data we will be using is taken from the EPA atmospheric greenhouse gases dataset. To obtain it, download and unzip the file python-second-language-data.zip. In order to follow the presented material, you should create the jupyter notebook in the “data” directory.