What's a good way to start applying my python skills? I've finished a bit more than half of 6.00 and although I'm still much the newb I've at least got some familiarity with the language. But I want to start actually using it for stuff; building databases or writing web apps or whatever. Let's say, as a for instance, I want to analyze my iTunes playlist and graph my listening habits over time. Could I do that with python, and how? To be honest it's hard even to think about what I want to do without knowing what I can do. So, what kind of things can one do with basic python skills, and how can
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Sorry that last bit should read, "So what kind of things can one do with basic python skills, and how can I get started doing them? How can I start turning inside-the-IDE knowledge into practical programming knowledge?"
Python has a ridiculous amount of libraries, you just have to look for it. I think you can do basically anything with Python, albeit not very efficiently. Some important libs are the url lib (that changed its name, I believe, for newer Python versions) re for parsing regular expressions, itertools, and there are many many others. For graphs, there is pylab, also.
Pick something that you wish to do, no matter what, and try it out. Know that you will be able to do it with Python, but you will have to work.
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Finding a project that interests you is definitely the right approach. Once you've determined what you'd like to do--your music graphing for instance--break that larger program into distinct pieces. What smaller programming tasks make up the overall project?
What are some of the pieces of this project?
- Read your ITunes playlist
- Does it keep track of your listening habits the way you'd like already? If not,
- collect the information (what info do you need?)
- store it
- will your program sort by genre, artist, etc? Will it let the user decide?
The task you've chosen might be a little more complicated than normal because (1) you're interacting with another program and (2) you're graphing your results. If the overall project becomes too daunting, I'd choose something simpler. Also, you might search around for code snippets, esp. regarding accessing Itunes (like this: http://code.activestate.com/recipes/498241-scripting-itunes-for-windows-with-python/) and learn from that code.
Web-based projects are a good choice as well. I like agdgdgdgwngo's idea. Or you can create a very simple website and continue to add functionality.
Hope that helps a little.