Lecture 5, 4/7/10
A quick introduction to the Sage Notebook
I mentioned this in passing once or twice, but I really should have given it more serious billing earlier on in the course. You can use Python via the online Sage Notebook without installing a single thing on your computer.
Logging into the notebook for the first time
You can log into one of two servers:
[http://www.sagenb.org], the "primary" public notebook
[http://480.sagenb.org], the notebook "reserved" for this class
Accounts are not shared between these two machines, so if you feel like you created a worksheet and it's gone, maybe it's just on a different machine.
When you first connect, here's what you'll see:
Click "Sign up for a new Sage Notebook account," pick a username and password, and you're off and running. Now you'll get to the following screen:
Now click "New Worksheet," and pick a name. This is a totally usable GUI for experimenting with Sage. I mentioned on the first day that there are a few minor differences between Sage and pure Python; let's go ahead and switch the notebook into Python mode, just to be safe. Look for the menu that says "sage" near the top:
and switch that to "python." Now you're ready to roll: you can enter anything you want in a cell, and either hit shift-enter or the "evaluate" button to evaluate it. The notebook does a number of really helpful things, such as not overwhelming you with output. (Try doing range(10000) to see what I mean.) Just like at the command line, you can use tab completion and ? and ?? for introspection.
Play with the notebook -- you may fall in love. (I seem to be one of the rare few that hasn't.)
References for editors
There are a handful of good introductions to various editors out there. If you find one you love, let me know, and I'll post a link.
Alright, let's get this going ...