Boston Python Workshop/Friday handout
Welcome to Friday setup! Setup hours are from 5pm-8pm. Come any time within that block. Expect standard setup to take an hour, and the optional web app setup to take an additional hour.
The goals for this evening are to make sure you have a working environment for writing and running Python code and for writing ColorWall effects. There are also setup instructions and support for a second, optional project: a web app.
- Friday setup and the Saturday workshop are both happening at Microsoft NERD, which is at One Memorial Drive in Cambridge, in the Thomas Paul room on the 1st floor.
- To access the wireless network, connect to the Cambridge network and open a browser. You should be redirected to a login page, which will prompt you for a wireless code. The code is: pw304.
Setting up Python
This section has instructions for installing Python and running Python from a terminal prompt.
In addition to being able to run Python, you should pick the text editor you'll use for writing and saving Python code during the workshop.
- On Windows, you might use NotePad. To start NotePad: click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Notepad.
- On OS X, you might use TextEdit. To start TextEdit: search for TextEdit from Spotlight, or navigate to Applications/TextEdit.
- On Linux, you might use GEdit. To start GEdit: click Applications, point to Accessories, and click Text Editor or you can start it from a terminal with:
How to get to a Python prompt
Often in these directions, you'll need to type things at Python prompt. To get one:
- On Windows: Start -> Run -> cmd.exe
- Type this, and press enter:
- On Linux or Mac OS:
- Open a Terminal, and type 'python'
Intro to Programming stream: Setting up for the ColorWall
The ColorWall is a framework for writing effects for a wall of pixels. During the Saturday workshop, you will write your own effects for the ColorWall. (see it in action)
Get project files
- Create a folder on your desktop called colorwall
- Download the ColorWall project from http://mit.edu/jesstess/www/BostonPythonWorkshop into that folder
- Windows users, try http://mit.edu/jesstess/www/BostonPythonWorkshop/ColorWall.zip first, and download it to your colorwall folder. The file should automatically get uncompressed when you download it.
- OS X and Linux users can get .tar.gz file through Terminal
cd Desktop/colorwall wget http://mit.edu/jesstess/www/BostonPythonWorkshop/ColorWall.tar.gz # unpack the tarball tar -xvf ColorWall.tar.gz
The ColorWall project depends on Tkinter which is pre-installed on some Windows, OS X, and Linux* distributions. To check if you have Tkinter installed, open your Terminal/cmd window and start your Python prompt:
python >>> import Tkinter
If that command results in an
ImportError try following the instructions for installing Tkinter here and if you have problems let a staff member know and we'll help you. (*On some Debian installation, when you
import Tkinter it will tell you that you need to install the
python-tk package, which you should do). After you are done at the Python prompt, exit to the regular terminal by typing
exit() and hitting enter.
Run the ColorWall
Run the example effects:
- On Windows, assuming the ColorWall software was downloaded to C:\Users\yourusername\Desktop\ColorWall
run \Python27\python.exe "C:\Users\yourusername\Desktop\colorwall\ColorWall\run.py"
- On OS X, assuming the ColorWall software was downloaded to ~/Desktop/colorwall/ColorWall run
- On Linux, assuming the ColorWall software was downloaded to ~/Desktop/colorwall/ColorWall run
Open run.py in text editor
Make sure you can open Python files in a text editor. Test this by running the text editor, navigating to your ColorWall directory, and opening
# Linux gedit run.py
# Mac/Windows right-click on run.py and "open with" your text editor of choice
Programmer: You're ready for Saturday!
If you're doing the programming section of the workshop tomorrow and you got this far, you're ready to go. Show an instructor your run.py working and also opened in a text editor, get your sticker and go have a good sleep.
Intro to Web App stream: Setting up Django
If you want to make a web app on Saturday, you'll need to install some additional packages. The web app is an example of an integrated Python-based application. It uses the Django web framework. Because the setup for this project is somewhat involved, this project and its setup are optional. If you run into trouble, get the help of an instructor. Instructions: Setting up the web app
Web Developer: You're ready for Saturday!
If you're doing the web app stream of the workshop tomorrow and you got this far, you're ready to go. Show an instructor that your welcome page on alwaysdata.net is working, get your sticker and go have a good sleep.