A Quick Guide to Formatting

This section provides a brief overview of the code formatting style that will be used throughout this text. You are not expected to understand the details of the code, here. This merely provides a guide for what is to come.

Any code that is included in-line within plain text will be formatted distinctly as so: “the variable x was updated…”. Such items will be distinguished with backticks wherever such formatting is not available. Take for example the following commented line within Python code:

# the variable `x` will be updated

Python code will be displayed within distinct, colorized code blocks. These will typically begin with a comment, which is meant to serve as a caption that summarizes the purpose of the code block:

# demonstrating a basic for-loop
cnt = 0
for i in range(10):
    cnt += 1

#`cnt` is now 10

The symbol >>> appears within code blocks to indicate “console-style” code, which distinguishes between code being entered by a user and the resulting output. The purpose of this is that it allows us to easily display the result of a computation without having to rely on calling the print function. For instance, the following code assigns the integer 1 to the variable x, and then displays the result of x + 2:

# demonstrating the distinction of
# input and output via >>>

>>> x = 1
>>> x + 2

The code blocks throughout a given section of the text should be understood to be persistent even if there is a mix of “pure” code blocks and “console-style” code blocks. For example, a function may be defined at the beginning of a section, and then referenced throughout the rest of that section:

# defining an example function
def my_func(x):
    return x**2

We can spend some time talking about my_func and then see it in action:

# demonstrating `my_func`
>>> my_func(10.)

Lastly, the input and output of an iPython console and a Jupyter notebook alike is displayed as follows:

2 + 3

Running Code Snippets from this Site

In PLYMI, we typically precede every code snippet with one or more commented lines. This is useful because it makes a page more “skimmable”, since the code snippets essentially come with descriptive, self-explanatory captions. That being said, there is a downside to this.

Python terminals don’t like having multiple comment lines precede an input-prompt. E.g. if you paste and run the following code into a terminal

# demonstrating the distinction of
# input and output via >>>

>>> x = 1

you will get a syntax error. To fix this issue, simply exclude the comments when you copy this block to your clipboard. Running

>>> x = 1

will work without any issue. Keep this in mind if you ever find yourself having trouble running code that you copied from this site.