Name: [002] Ian Ozsvald
Member: 128 months
Authored: 181 videos
Description: I am the co-founder of ShowMeDo (see, author of `The Screencasting Handbook <>`_ and the founder of the professional screencast production company `ProCasts <>`_: .. image:: ...

Python Development on XP [ID:049]

a series of video-tutorials by Ian Ozsvald

See PyDev and IDLE in action, program and debug code and then learn bullet-proof coding by unit-testing with nosetests.

This series will save you time as you watch 4 years of distilled knowledge. Several exercises will help you to expand your knowledge and you can ask me questions to get feedback on your progress.

Note title change - previously this series was known as 'Python Newbies on XP'.

"I had 3 requirements in mind when decided to look for a Python tutorial...Having completed this series I am glad to say that it is certainly meets all my requirements and above! Thank you Ian for a great course and I certainly [am] going to continue my Python studies with your other series" - Ofer

"As Ian says somewhere, he's found, organized, and presented information that would take weeks or months to learn in the ordinary way. Even if your time is worth only $10 per hour, I figure the value in time saved is at least $800. The skills are priceless." - Vincent DiCarlo

Video Tutorials

1. Series Overview

This 3 minute tour tells you about the PyDev and IDLE development environments, writing your first Python project and using strong coding techniques to improve your own programs. You are encouraged to ask questions by leaving me a Comment to help you get the most out of this series. To talk to your fellow Pythonistas you should post into the ShowMeDo Learners Google Group.

2. Deciding on a Python 2.5 Distro

Your first task is to pick the right Python distribution. At you can get the latest and greatest Python 2.5, with SciPy you get a math-oriented v2.5 and with ActivePython you get a complete but older v2.4 [edit March 2008 - ActivePython's distribution is now at Python 2.5 as well]. Watch the video to learn which is the right one for you. Here are the distros: SciPy ActiveP [...]

3. Running Python 2.5 on Windows XP

Here we install and test Python 2.5 from (download here). I cover how to start Python from the Start Menu and writing your first (Hello World) line of Python code. At the end of this video you'll know how to start and finish with Python and you'll be ready to check-out the on-line tutorial via the doc pages and Mark pilgrim's on-line book Dive Into Python. You will also be r [...]

4. Using IDLE v1.2

IDLE is the bundled editor for Python, it comes with all the distributions. Here I show you how to get started writing and running scripts and how to use the extra power of IDLE. Topics covered - printing at the immediate command line inside IDLE, navigating at the command line, writing loops at the command line, seeing tooltips which give us help about Python functions. Using a keyboard interrup [...]

5. Python at the command line

The easiest way to run scripts is to run them from the command line. Assuming you've set-up your system's Path variable (I show you how) you can run your scripts and execute lines of code directly (using the -c switch) from the command line. Having configured Python we then go on to run a script at the command line and edit the previous episode's using Notepad, demonstrating Notepad's de [...]

6. Starting a Python project with PyDev

PyDev is a powerful and free development environment for Python. It extends the Eclipse platform and runs on any reasonably-powerful modern computer (it is more heavy-weight than IDLE). This first episode (of three) shows you how to start a new project inside PyDev I show you how to start a PyDev project (including the location of files on the hard-drive), create a new source file ( an [...]

7. Build a simple file-reader using PyDev

Writing your first Python program may feel daunting - follow me here as I show you how to start a simple program inside PyDev (you could write this in any editor). I cover the useful features of PyDev including tooltips, auto-completion and using a 'Extract Method' refactoring tool (great for cleaning up your code!). This simple script will read a list of numbers from a text file (as strings) and [...]

8. Interactive debugging using PyDev

Debugging skills are key to making your programs work properly. Here I show you how to step through our previous in PyDev's graphical debugger, watching how the variables are created and changed, seeing how the stack changes and using breakpoints for control. When debugging we need PyDev's debug-perspective, we launch using F11 and then Step Into and Over lines of code and watch how th [...]

9. Unit Tests for Dependable Code

Testing lets us trust our code - and unit-tests (via 'nosetests') make the task of writing tests super-easy. We should all be writing unit-tests with our code. Here we use the excellent 'nosetests' to adopt a test-driven approach to coding, allowing us to build our confidence that our code is working exactly as we want it to. If you don't have nosetests yet, see the Installing Nosetests screencas [...]

10. Bonus - IDLE's Python Help and an Exercise

Tal, an IDLE developer, suggested I add a bonus episode covering the 'help()' function within IDLE. Here I discuss the built-in help, using the external Python help, and I add a bonus Web exercise. I also show you how to use Alt P and Alt N to navigate to the Previous and Next items in IDLE's the command-history. Bonus exercise - use urllib2 to read the html at, checking the response [...]

Showmedo is a peer-produced video-tutorials and screencasts site for free and open-source software (FOSS)- with the exception of some club videos, the large majority are free to watch and download.

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Educating the Open-source Community With Showmedo

Although as important as the software it supports, education and documentation are relatively neglected in the Open-source world. Coders love to code, and explaining how best to use or improve the software tends to be deferred or even sidelined.

At Showmedo we believe the community can play a vital role here and also say thanks for the tools and software that make our lives easier. If you have a piece of software you love or a programming langugage you are enthusiastic about, why not make a screencast showing others how to use it? All the stuff you wish you'd been told, the tips, tricks, insights that would have saved you time and frustration.

Screencasting is easier than you think, and we're happy to help you. You can emailus for advice or just use some of the how-to screencasts on the site. This screencasting learning-pathis a good place to start.

Kudos and Thanks for Ian

3 Minute Oveview (What Does Python Look Like?)

simple and informative. you draw me in
70 months ago

Learning Paths

This series lies on the following learning-paths. Learning-paths are a new initiative at Showmedo, to start structuring our content better. You can find out more here.



Showmedo's development is fairly rapid and bugs will inevitably creep in. If you have any problems please drop us a line using the contact address below. Likewise, any suggestions for improvements to the site are gratefully received.