Do you know how to open the command line yet? If not, look under “Getting Started” on the main page. This is easier than it was in previous years, but it still might be a kind of stressful experience, but I promise we’ll get through it together.

Python 2 vs Python 3

Once upon a time there was Python 2, and everyone was happy. Except… not really, because Python did a lot of things poorly, especially when you stopped working with the English alphabet (a.k.a. the Latin alphabet). Àçčêñtś were a disaster, and forget about using 中文 or 한글 without running into a hundred problems. Data is international, and that’s why we’re using Python 3.

A lot of people still use Python 2, though. And they can be a little loud about it. That’s okay, it’s fine, that’s just who they are. They’re just not us. (…and they’re wrong!)

So when you see people yelling about Python 2 vs Python 3, just know you’re on the right team.

Installing Python 3 & Friends

Now we’re going to make sure everyone has the exact same Python setup. Making sure that everything is installed correctly can cause a lot of headaches, but if we suffer a little now it will make everything easier in the future.

You probably won’t understand everything we’re doing below, but after a few weeks it will all make sense.

Also, please ask me for help if you think you have a problem!

Installing Python with Python Wrangler

After fixing my 10000th Python installation, I really really wanted a better way to do this. So I built and entire application just to get your computer set up correctly!

It’s called Python Wrangler, and you can download it here.

If/when you get a prompt that says “Password: []” and you type and type and nothing shows up: just type the password and hit enter. It doesn’t look like it’s doing anything but it is! It’s just trying to keep your password secret from anyone who might be looking at your screen.

After you download Python Wrangler, run it, visit the Walkthrough page, and do every single step!

I haven’t tested it on that many computers yet, so if you have a problem it’s definitely Python Wrangler and not your computer! Just let me know and I can help you out. On OS X, if it yells at you that it didn’t come from the Mac App Store, right-click it and select ‘Open’ On Windows it might yell that Python Wrangler is from an unknown developer. If you click ‘More info’ and ‘Run Anyway’ it should work.

If Python Wrangler is asking you to remove folders that you can’t find or things are too confusing, give me a shout and I’ll take a look.

Checking to see if it worked

Let’s test Python out! Restart your computer, then open up the command line and try the following command:

python --version

That’s python, space, two dashes, no space, then version. Does it tell you the version of Python you’re using? Great!

Does it say something like “command not found?” Something went wrong! Yell “oh no Soma please help me” and I’ll give you a hand.