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I am a beginner and I want to learn computer programming. So, for now, I have started learning Python by myself with some knowledge about programming in C and Fortran.

Now, I have installed Python version 3.6.0 and I have struggled to find a suitable text for learning Python in this version. Even the online lecture series ask for versions 2.7 and 2.5.

Now that I have got a book which, however, makes codes in version 2 and tries to make it as close as possible in version 3 (according to the author); the author recommends "downloading Anaconda for Windows" for installing Python.

So, my question is: What is this 'Anaconda'? I saw that it was some open data science platform. What does it mean? Is it some editor or something like Pycharm, IDLE or something?

Also, I downloaded my Python (the one that I am using right now) for Windows from Python.org and I didn't need to install any "open data science platform". So what is this happening?

Please explain in easy language. I don't have too much knowledge about these.

2 Answers

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by (40.3k points)

Anaconda is nothing but python and R's distribution. It always aims to provide everything you need (python wise) for data science "out of the box".

It includes these things:

  • The core Python language
  • 100+ python "packages" (libraries)
  • Spyder (IDE/editor - like pycharm) and Jupyter
  • conda, Anaconda's own package manager, used for updating Anaconda and packages

For more information, visit here : https://www.anaconda.com/distribution/

0 votes
by (92.9k points)

The relation of anaconda with Python is that Anaconda is a Python-based data processing and scientific computing platform. It has built in many very useful third-party libraries. Installing Anaconda is equivalent to automatically installing Python and some commonly used libraries such as Numpy, Pandas, Scrip, and Matplotlib, so it makes the installation so much easier than regular Python installation. If you don't install Anaconda, but instead only install Python from python.org, you also need to use pip to install various libraries one by one. It is painful and you need to consider compatibility, thus it is highly recommended to directly install Anaconda.

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