Chapter IV


Extra Content!

Subsections of Extras

Installing Git on Windows

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Hello and welcome to the first of a series of videos where I’m going to show you everything you need to know to be able to bring your CC 410 projects and other Computational Core projects outside of Codio and onto your local system. For these videos, I’m doing this all on Windows, which is the most complicated system to set up. For Mac and Linux users, there are similar things that you can do on those systems. If you want me to cover those in a future video, just let me know, and I’d be happy to do that, or you can find really good documentation online. In this video, we’re going to go through installing the Git tool on Windows and also how we can connect it to GitHub and download our projects using Git. So let’s get started with that.

On this system, I have a relatively recent version of Windows 10 that is fully updated, and I have downloaded a lot of the tools that we’re going to need for this project. The first tool I’ve downloaded is the Git tool which is available from the Git website. This is the 64-bit Windows Installer version, and I’m briefly going to go through the process of installing that tool. The Git installer presents many different options that you can choose from here, I’m going to make sure I choose the options for Windows Explorer integration, as well as the default associations. If you use the new Windows terminal, you can also check mark this option to have Git Bash added directly to your Windows terminal. Git will also ask you what you want to use as the default text editor. It defaults to the vim option, which I find to be the most difficult editor to use. If you have one of these other text editors installed, you can choose that or if nothing else, I’m going to choose the nano editor, which we’ve seen in Codio, to use that by default. You can also let Git decide whether it should use the name “master” for the default branch or a different branch names such as “main,” I’m going to go ahead and choose this option for it to use the “main” branch for any new projects that it creates. Likewise, Git gives you the option to use Git from Git Bash only or from third party software or from other tools, I’m going to choose the recommended option to allow me to use Git from the command line and also from third party software. We’re also going to choose to use the openSSH that is bundled in the Git installer instead of an external version. We will do the same with the openSSL library. We’ll also choose to check out Windows style line endings, but commit Unix style line endings. This makes our repositories a lot more compatible between Windows and Linux versions. And it makes it easier for Windows text editors to edit these files. We’ll allow Git to use minTTY as the default terminal and will use all of the other default behaviors. Once we’ve selected that, Git will go through the process of installing and we can move on to the next step.

Once Git has finished installing, I can check mark the option to launch Git Bash, which will let us load the Git terminal and we can make a couple other adjustments. The default Git Bash window looks an awful lot like a Linux terminal. It’s a small version of Linux that runs within Windows to make things easier to work with, although all of these Git commands will also work in the default Windows command prompt and in PowerShell. As with any Git installation, the first thing we need to do is configure our name and our email address using the Git configuration options. Once we run these two commands, Git will be configured with our username and our email address, which will get attached to any commits that we make. Now we need to generate an SSH key so that we can connect it to GitHub and be able to access our repositories directly. To do that, we’ll use the command ssh-keygen. And then we’ll simply press Enter for all of the options. Once it’s done, it will generate an SSH key for us. We can find that key by typing cat .ssh/ This is the SSH public key that we will copy and paste into GitHub so that we can access those files directly.

At this point, I’m going to close Git Bash, and I’m going to instead open PowerShell. Here in PowerShell, if we installed Git correctly, we should also have access to the Git command here. It looks like it’s working. So now I’m going to use Git to check out a couple of our CC 410 projects so that we can use those in the later videos. For the rest of the videos in the series, I’m going to use the model solutions for example nine in CC 410. So to check those out, I’m going to do git clone, followed by the SSH URL of that repository, and I’m cloning it directly into my home folder. There we go. That’s all it takes to install Git on Windows. In the next videos we’ll look at installing either Python or Java and configure using an IDE for each of those languages.

Installing Python

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In this video, we’re going to go through the process of installing Python on Windows and configuring it to work with our CC 410 projects. To begin, I’ve downloaded the latest Python installer from the Python website, and I’m going to run that installer to install Python on Windows. In the Python installer, there are a couple of options that are not checked by default that we absolutely want to make sure we check. First, I’m going to check mark the option at the bottom that says Add Python 3.10 to PATH, which allows me to use Python in tools such as PowerShell, as well as additional IDEs. I’m also going to click the Customize Installation option to change a few of the other options. The first page I’m going to leave everything is the default. And then on the second page, I’m going to check mark the option that says install for all users. That will place Python in the C:\Program Files\Python folder instead of buried somewhere else. With that, I’ll click install and it will install Python. Once Python is installed, we’ll click Close to close the installer. We don’t need to disable the path length limit for most of our projects, but this is something you could do if you find you run into trouble later on.

To test Python on Windows, I’m going to open PowerShell. In PowerShell, we can type the command python followed by --version to see the version of Python that’s installed. Notice that on Windows, it uses the python command instead of python3. If you’ve installed it the way I’ve shown, the python3 command will instead send you to the Windows Store to install an older version of Python. We don’t want to do this. It’s unfortunate that this is how Python handles Python version three versus the Python command itself. But it’s something to be aware of. So on Windows, we always want to use the Python command if we if we’ve installed Python following the method I’ve shown here.

So now I’m going to open up my project that I downloaded from Git, and I should be able to run it. However, Python has one unique thing that we should talk about, which is the idea of environments. In Python, when we install all of our Python libraries, by default, they’ll get installed for the user across all of our Python projects. This can be a problem if we want to have multiple projects on our system, and so it’s considered a best practice to create a virtual environment in Python, and use that when we run our code. So to create a virtual environment in Python, I’m going to run the python command -venv for virtual environment. And then the argument that you give after that is the location to store your virtual environments. By convention, we typically use the folder name .venv, to store our virtual environment. So at this command, Python will create a new virtual environment for us containing all of the Python executables, and this will be a place where we can install all of our Python libraries just for this project. It’s also really nice because both the PyCharm and Visual Studio Code are able to detect this folder and — and automatically use that virtual environment for us. Once the virtual environment is created, we need to actually activate it in our terminal session in order to use it. In PowerShell, we will run the command .venv/Scripts/activate.ps1. When we try to run this script, however, PowerShell says that scripts are disabled on our system.

So we need to first allow scripts in order to be able to use this virtual environment. To do that, we’re going to open another PowerShell window, but this time we’re going to run it as Administrator. In the administrator PowerShell, we’re going to type the command Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted. By setting the execution policy to unrestricted, it will allow us to run scripts directly on the system. When we do this, it will pop up a message and we will type Y to say yes, we would like to turn this off. Once we’ve done that, we can close PowerShell and we can close and reopen our basic PowerShell window to actually see the change.

To load our virtual environment, we will change directory into the project folder where the venv is located. I can confirm that we see that folder using ls, and then we can activate the environment by using .venv/Scripts/activate.ps1. If we did this correctly, we should sound now see the name of our virtual environment, the .venv folder here at the beginning of our PowerShell terminal. It’s really important to always make sure we see this before we try and run any Python commands for this project. Later on when we work with our IDEs, we’ll see how they do this automatically.

At this point, we now have our virtual environment. So we can now run our project. The first step is to install all of our requirements. So we’ll do pip install -r requirements.txt. Once we’ve done that, we can run our project just like normal by doing python -m src to load the src module. There we go.

We have to do one additional step in order to be able to run tox. The tox configuration file we’ve been using is not configured properly for Windows. So I’ve opened the project here in Windows Explorer, and I’m going to edit the tox file. I’m just going to use Notepad for this, and we’re going to make two changes. First, we’re using Python 3.10, so we need to change our environment to use Python 3.10. And then in all of these commands, right now we’re using python3, and we’ll need to change these to python. Now bear in mind that both of these changes will mean that the project won’t work in its current form on Codio. So you may wish to create multiple tox.ini files and switch between the two or do something similar in order to keep track. One other change we’ll need to make to our tox configuration file on Windows is to specify the specific folders we want flake to check. By default, flake will try and check everything on our system, and that can take a long time. So here I’m going to put src and test at the end of the flake command in our tox configuration file. So that only checks these two folders within our project for style violations. So once I’ve made those changes, I will save the file in Notepad using File > Save, and then I’ll close that and go back to PowerShell.

With those changes made, the tox I should be able to run our tox plan using tox -r and see everything run. You’ll only need to use tox -r the first time to recreate your environment. Afterwards, just like on Codio, you can use tox to reuse an existing environment, which will make this command run much faster.

There we go. We’ve successfully set up Python on our computer so that we can run Python directly and we can use tox to test our files. At this point, we have everything we need in our virtual environment to run our project. And we can use any text editor we want to edit the source code. One thing we may wish to do is add a few additional items to our Git ignore file so that they won’t get committed to Git. You’ll notice that PyCharm creates a folder as well as the virtual environment. So let’s open up our Git ignore file and quickly add those two items to it. We can simply list any folder names we want to exclude in our Git ignore file. And then the next time we commit this to Git we won’t have those files included.

In future videos, I’m going to show you how to install the PyCharm and Visual Studio Code IDEs to work with this project.

Installing Java

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In this video, I’m going to go over installing Java and Gradle on Windows. So I’ve already downloaded the Java Development Kit directly from the Oracle website. So I’m going to briefly double click to install that.

I’ll also install Gradle. However, Gradle does not come with an installer, it just has a ZIP file. So to install Gradle, we’re going to extract this ZIP file, and we’re going to extract it to the folder C:\Gradle. Once I’ve extracted the Gradle files, I’ll open up the Gradle folder, and then the bin folder. And I’m going to click up here in the address bar and copy that path. We need to add this path to our Windows path so that we can actually access these files in the search bar. If I start typing environments, it should give me an option to edit my system environment variables. So I’ll choose that option, then click environment variables. And then under system variables, I’ll find the path variable and choose Edit. And then I’m going to create a new entry and paste in that path.

Now that we’ve installed both Java and Gradle, we can actually run this project. To do that, I’m going to start by opening PowerShell. And then in PowerShell, I’m going to change directory to our project folder. Once here, I can type java -version to confirm the version of Java, and gradle -version to confirm the version of Gradle. If everything looks correct, I should be able to run Gradle run to actually build and run my project using Gradle. If everything works correctly, we should see our application pop up on our screen.

That’s all it takes to get Java and Gradle running on Windows. In the next video I’ll talk about how we can configure two popular IDEs, IntelliJ and Visual Studio Code, to work with this project.

Python IDEs

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Now let’s look at a couple of common IDEs for Python and see how we can use those with the projects that we’ve already configured. For this example, I’m going to install both PyCharm and Visual Studio Code. So to do that, I’m going to begin by installing both of those IDEs. When you’re installing PyCharm, it does present you with a quite a few options that you can choose from. Depending on your particular setup, you may wish to check mark things such as updating your PATH variable, updating your Windows context menu, and associating the .py file extension with this tool.

When installing Visual Studio Code, you may also want to check out some options to add different menu items to your Windows Explorer context menu.

Let’s first take a look at PyCharm and see what it takes to open this project in that IDE. Once PyCharm is open, we can click the Open button to open the folder containing our project inside of the IDE. In the dialog, I’ll select the folder containing our project. This is the same one that we downloaded using Git earlier. We’ll also choose to trust the project, which will allow it to actually run the code that it contains.

When PyCharm first loads a project, it has to go through and scan and configure a lot of different things. So just be patient and watch the bar at the bottom of the screen as PyCharm gets everything set up for the first time. As PyCharm scans the project, it may find the virtual environment and set that as the Python interpreter. You can see that down here at the bottom of the screen, where it shows the Python version and the location of the interpreter. You can hold your mouse over to confirm that it’s working in the .venv folder, which is what we want. By selecting this interpreter, this will tell PyCharm to use that virtual environment and install all of the packages there.

Once PyCharm is done configuring, we’ll need to add a run configuration so that knows how to run our projects. To do that, we’ll go to the Run menu, and then choose Edit Configurations. Then we’ll hit plus and choose Python. And then here in the dialog, instead of a script path, I wanted to run a module. So I’ll click this drop down choose Module Name, enter source or src for the module, to match the name of our module in our Python project. And I’ll also set the working directory to the default, which is just the package directory itself. Then we can click OK. And now if we want to run the project, we can go to the Run menu and choose Run src and it will run that Python module directly from within Python. We can also choose the debug option to debug this, which is a really powerful tool that we can use directly in PyCharm.

PyCharm also includes a terminal that will load the default PowerShell terminal in Windows. However, it will not by default load the virtual environment. So we’ll have to remember to type .venv/Scripts/activate.ps1 to load the virtual environment before we run any Python commands directly within the terminal. That’s a quick update on how to use PyCharm with this project. There are many many more things that we can do in PyCharm, including configuring it to work with tox. However, we won’t cover those things in this video, but you can find lots of good documentation online.

Now let’s quickly look how we can open this project in Visual Studio Code. To do that, I’ll go to our Start menu and load Visual Studio Code. In Visual Studio Code, the easiest way to open a project is to go to the File menu and then choose Open folder. Here we’ll select our project folder, and it will open it in Visual Studio Code. Visual Studio Code will ask us to confirm that we trust the authors of this project so that it can run the code directly inside of it.

Once the project is loaded, we can go open one of our Python files, and that will cause Visual Studio Code to prompt us to install a few additional extensions. I’m just going to click the button that says Install to install the recommended extensions for Python. Once the Python extension is installed, you’ll need to allow it to select a Python interpreter. So I’m going to click that option and choose Select Python interpreter. Thankfully, Visual Studio code is smart enough to immediately detect our virtual environment. So I’m going to choose that as our interpreter for this project. Once I’ve done that, I can go back to my files and I should be able to see them using Python. Notice down here at the bottom, it will tell us which interpreter it’s running just like we saw in PyCharm.

To run this project, we’ll need to add a configuration, and we’re going to choose a Python module and enter the module src as the name of our module. That will create a launch configuration that looks like this, which gets stored in a JSON file. Once that’s been done, we can go to the Run menu and choose Start Run without debugging to actually run our Python project. And there we go. We see Visual Studio can now run our Python project. One other neat feature of Visual Studio Code is then when we open a terminal with the Python extension turned on, it will automatically know to activate our virtual environment. So it will take care of that for us. It’s a really neat feature that it has.

So there we go. There’s a quick overview of how to load both PyCharm and Visual Studio Code IDEs with these Python projects. If you have any questions, please feel free to let us know.

Java IDEs

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In this video, I’m going to discuss how to install and configure two popular IDEs for Java to work with our projects. Those IDEs are IntelliJ and VS Code. First, let’s look at installing those two IDEs. I’ve already downloaded the installers, and so now I’m going to install both the IntelliJ IDE, and Visual Studio code. When installing IntelliJ, it gives you many different options that you may want to enable depending on how you’re using the tool. I’m going to enable adding it to the PATH, adding open folders project and associating the .java file extension.

When installing Visual Studio code, you may also want to check mark some options to add different menu items to your Windows Explorer context menu.

At this point, we can open up IntelliJ and configure it to work with our project. So I’m going to find IntelliJ on my start menu, and click it to open it. When you first load IntelliJ, it will ask you if you want to import any settings, I’m just going to choose do not import settings and click OK. Once IntelliJ is loaded, I’ll click the Open button to open our projects folder as a project in IntelliJ. In the dialog, I’ll select our project that we downloaded directly from Git. The first time we load the project IntelliJ will ask us if we trust the authors. I’m going to click trust projects so that it can actually execute it properly. Once we select that project, IntelliJ will go through and configure everything it needs for the project. This may take a few minutes, so just hang tight while it does this work.

Once IntelliJ has done indexing, we can add a run configuration so we can actually run our project. In the configurations, we’re going to choose the option for a Gradle configuration. And then we can put in the Gradle task that we want to run. A very simple gradle run task we can type run here. But we can also create additional run configurations for check, and for test, and for any other Gradle tasks that we want to run. With that in place, we can run our project using that run configuration. If everything works correctly, we should see our project appear on the screen. IntelliJ also includes the Gradle tab, which gives us direct access to a lot of our Gradle tasks and configurations here. That’s just a quick overview of how we can use IntelliJ with this project. There are many many more features available, but you can find out more about that by reading the documentation for IntelliJ.

Now let’s look at how we can use Visual Studio Code to load this project in java. To load Visual Studio Code. I’ll simply find it on the start menu and click it to open it. The easiest way to open a project in Visual Studio Code is to go to the File menu and then choose Open Folder. We’ll select our project folder, and click select folder to open it. When we first open a project in Visual Studio, it will ask us if we trust the authors. Since we wrote this project, we’ll go ahead and click yes so that we can fully work with this project.

Once we’ve opened the project, we can go to one of our Java source files to get Visual Studio to prompt us to install all of the extensions we need to work with Java. So we’ll click this install button to install all the recommended extensions for Java. Once the extension pack is finished installing, we can go back to our project. Once the extensions are installed, it will eventually scan through and find all of the Java Development Kit and initialize the workspace. As Visual Studio Code builds the project, it will give you a prompt to upgrade Gradle. Go ahead and click that because that will upgrade the Gradle that is bundled with this extension. If everything works correctly, eventually Visual Studio will be done building the project.

There’s one more extension we can install, which is the Gradle extension. The Gradle extension from Microsoft allows us to interface directly with Gradle in our code. When the Gradle extension installs, you may have to allow a few things through the firewall. With the Gradle extension installed, we can choose that option from the options over on the left and watch it as it goes through and parses our Gradle project and eventually presents us with all of our tasks. Once it’s done configuring, we should be able to expand the Tasks list for our different apps, and we’ll be able to see all of the different Gradle tasks that we can run. This is a great way to explore how Gradle works in your project.

Finally, we can also add a launch configuration directly to VS Code to run our Java code directly outside of Gradle. A launch configuration will look something like this with the main class put in here. You can configure these by going to the Run menu and choosing Add Configuration. That’s a quick overview of how to work with Java in Visual Studio Code. If you have any questions with any of this feel free to let us know