1.7. A Typical First Program

Traditionally, the first program written in a new language is called Hello, World! because all it does is display the words, Hello, World! In Python, the source code looks like this.

print("Hello, World!")

This is an example of using the print function, which doesn’t actually print anything on paper. It displays a value on the screen. In this case, the result is the phrase:

Hello, World!

Here is the example in an activecode window, where you can run it and modify it.

The quotation marks in the program mark the beginning and end of the value. They don’t appear in the result. You’ll learn more about why in the next chapter.

Some people judge the quality of a programming language by the simplicity of the Hello, World! program. By this standard, Python does about as well as possible.

Check your understanding

    intro-7-1: The print function:
  • sends information to the printer to be printed on paper.
  • Within the Python programming language, the print statement has nothing to do with the printer.
  • displays a value on the screen.
  • Yes, the print statement is used to display the value of the thing being printed.
  • tells the computer to put the information in print, rather than cursive, format.
  • The format of the information is called its font and has nothing to do with the print statement.
  • tells the computer to speak the information.
  • That would be nice! But no...
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