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Alternative approaches

There are at least three (and probably more) alternative online approaches that allow you to write and run Python code without a requirement toinstall Python on your computer:

All three of these approaches run in a browser and can even be used with a tablet or a smart phone.


Skulpt is an entirely in-browser implementation of Python. No local installation, plugins, or server-side support is required.

Just go to www.skulpt.org in your computer, tablet, or smart phone, scroll down to the Demo pane, type in your Python code and click the Run button below the Demo pane. The program output will appear inthe Output pane below the Run button.

You can learn more about using Skulpt, including how to embed Skulpt in your HTML pages in the module titled Itse1359-2410-Getting Started with Skulpt in this book .

Online code visualizer

See the section titled Visualize your script file with the Online Python Tutor later in this module for a discussion of an online code visualizer. This tool also runs in a browser and can be used with acomputer, a tablet, or a smart phone.

How To Think Like a Computer Scientist

How To Think Like a Computer Scientist - Interactive is an online interactive textbook that can be freely accessed in your browser ona computer, a tablet, or a smart phone. It uses the two tools described above plus video, self-check quizzes, and other features to teach Python programming.There are numerous opportunities within the book for you to write and run Python code completely within your browser.

(Note that as of February, 2015, the online video in the book seems to have an audio compatibility problem with my Android tablet. I have discussedthis with the author and I expect the problem to be corrected soon.)

Visualize your script file with the Online Python Tutor

When learning to program, it is often useful to be able to follow the execution of a program step-by-step. A free online tool called the Online Python Tutor makes this possible. (You have seen some output from this tool in earlier modules. I will provide a more detailed explanation of how to use the tool inthe module titled Itse1359-1065-Visualizing Python in this book . )

The following quotation was copied from pythontutor.com .

" Online Python Tutor is a free educational tool created by Philip Guo that helps students overcome a fundamental barrier to learning programming: understanding what happens as the computer executes each line of a program's source code. Using this tool, a teacher or student can write Python , Java , and JavaScript programs in the Web browser and visualize what the computer is doing step-by-step as it executes those programs."

Beginning with this module and continuing with future modules, I will recommend that you

  • Open the Online Python Tutor .
  • Copy the example programs, such as the code shown in Listing 2 , into the online text editor .
  • Select Python 3.3 in the pull-down list.
  • Click the button labeled Visualize Execution .

The screen will then change to include what you see in Figure 2 . Use the Forward and Back buttons to step forward and backward through your code, one instruction at a time, while observing the information thatappears on the screen to the right of the code window.

For example, Figure 2 shows the Online Python Tutor visualizer screen after the first threestatements from Listing 2 have been executed. The information on the right shows the values stored in the variables named a and b at that point in the execution of the program.

Figure 2 . Online Python Tutor visualizer screen output.

missing image

As you might expect, more complicated code produces more complicated output from the visualizer.For example, Figure 3 shows the output from the Online Python Tutor when visualizing a program from a future module titled Itse1359-1440-Class Variables in this book .

Figure 3 . Visualizing a program from a future module.

missing image

What's next ?

Obviously, there is a lot more that you will need to learn before you canwrite that "killer app" that takes the world by storm, but at this point, you have the tools to experiment with some simple scripts.

Practice, practice

I recommend that you look back into the earlier modules and convert some of the interactive programs listed there into scripts, execute them, and confirmthat the scripts behave as expected.

Cut-and-paste programming

In future modules, I will switch back and forth between scripts and interactive mode, depending on which seems to be the most appropriate at thetime.

I am a strong advocate of cut-and-paste programming. Cut-and-paste programming works well with scripts, and not so well with interactive mode.

Therefore, any time there is very much typing involved, you can usually expect to see me using scripts instead of interactive mode.


This section contains a variety of miscellaneous information.

Housekeeping material
  • Module name: Itse1359-1050-Introduction to Scripts
  • File: Itse1359-1050.htm
  • Published: 10/14/14
  • Revised: 01/31/16

Financial : Although the Connexions site makes it possible for you to download a PDF file for thismodule at no charge, and also makes it possible for you to purchase a pre-printed version of the PDF file, you should beaware that some of the HTML elements in this module may not translate well into PDF.

I also want you to know that, I receive no financial compensation from the Connexions website even if you purchase the PDF version of the module.

In the past, unknown individuals have copied my modules from cnx.org, converted them to Kindle books, and placed them for sale on Amazon.com showing me as the author. Ineither receive compensation for those sales nor do I know who does receive compensation. If you purchase such a book, please beaware that it is a copy of a module that is freely available on cnx.org and that it was made and published withoutmy prior knowledge.

Affiliation : I am a professor of Computer Information Technology at Austin Community College in Austin, TX.


Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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