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Learning Python, 3rd Edition Paperback – November 1, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0596513986 ISBN-10: 0596513984 Edition: Third Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Third Edition edition (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596513984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596513986
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #674,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Lutz is the world leader in Python training, the author of Python's earliest and best-selling texts, and a pioneering figure in the Python community since 1992. He is also the author of O'Reilly's Programming Python, 3rd Edition and Python Pocket Reference, 3rd Edition. Mark began teaching Python classes in 1997, and has instructed more than 200 Python training sessions as of 2007. Mark also has BS and MS degrees in Computer Science and 25 years of software development experience.Whenever Mark gets a break from spreading the Python word, he leads an ordinary, average life with his kids in Colorado. Mark can be reached by email at , or on the web at http://www.rmi.net/~lutz.

Customer Reviews

My learning Perl book is only 200 pages long and packed with useful information.
Daniel D. Lohin
After finishing those tasks, I am looking forward to reading through 'Programming Python' and getting a better introduction to the library.
Lewis Cawthorne
An excellent book for anyone new to both programming and the Python programming language.
Miyamoto Yamaguchi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 47 people found the following review helpful By John Malis on January 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was sorely disappointed by this book. I normally love O'Reilly books and was very glad to see that they had make a beginners book for Python; but this book is just terrible. Like others have said, its very very wordy, repeating even the most simplistic concept 5 different times but discussing the more complicated parts with esoteric examples - which is what is accounting for the majority of this book's pages.

Though I have now become a pretty decent Python programmer, this book had absolutely nothing to do with it. Instead I would highly recommend Beginning Python: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition (Beginning from Novice to Professional) which is a fantastic book for learning and great for reference.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Daniel D. Lohin on January 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first O'Reilly book that I will say that I regret purchasing. Coming from Perl and now trying to see what the hype with Python is about. I know Java as well as C++, so I understand OO and all it is supposed to do.

So far I am on page 200 and I still can't do a darn thing with the language. Instead the author chooses to spend pages explaining how python handles objects in memory (not sure how I supposed to understand what an object is if I never did another language). It is now page 200, I have no idea how to do loops, no idea how to accept input or even how to print a string. This book is terrible. My learning Perl book is only 200 pages long and packed with useful information. This book just goes into detail about the language and how it operates internally. That would be fine towards the end of the book, but as it stands this is the only O'Reilly book I can't recommend.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kelly D. Painter on December 31, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should be called "Learning Python for people who have never programmed before". The author states in the preface that no assumptions have been made about the reader's programming background. I think that this is why this book is so wordy.

Amazon's opening statement: "The authors of Learning Python show you enough essentials of the Python scripting language to enable you to begin solving problems right away..." Well, not right away. You have to read half the book first. The book delves into the details of data object types before even talking about basic programming features such as for/while loops (pg. 248). This book is an obvious outcropping of the author's classes on Python. I would think that the author's approach would be fine in a classroom setting, but this hand-holding approach in print is laborious.

The book also has altogether too many references to later chapters. I got tired of reading "X will be covered later in chapter Y". If you aren't going to talk about it now, don't waste the reader's time talking about how you are not going to talk about it now.

That said, I found the information in the book to be useful.

I just received "Programming in Python 3" by Mark Summerfield. This book takes the approach I wish that "Learning Python" had.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By S. Taylor on October 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
I just spent a few days going through this book and learned a lot. I've been working with PHP for years, but never did much complicated code. I studied Java about 8 years ago also and learned a lot about OOP from that. But never did any programming in Java. So it was all concept, no experience.

My reason for reading this book was to start using Python with Django. I wanted to learn Python first so I would understand the framework better.

This book covers in excruciating detail many of the finer qualities of just about everything you can imagine being in the language. I'm sure it doesn't cover everything the language can do. But somehow it spends 600 plus pages going over details that I wouldn't expect to find even if I was reading a 300 page book called "What I was thinking when I wrote this particular function on July 3rd 1991"

If something can be explained by 2 lines of example code and a three sentence paragraph about what's going on, the author does that -after 2 pages of explanation of how this code you are about to see might be a little like C, but it's a little different too, and how what you are going to learn is really powerful, and how some students might notice that the code is similar in structure to the code that you will see on page 400 later in the book.

If you think my review is way too verbose, read the book.

I give it 3 stars because it was in fact clear and well communicated information. It was just often hard to keep reading past all the unnecessary words to get to the useful content.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Craig Schmidt on June 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm an experienced C++ programmer, wanting to learn python. The very bottom-up organization of the book makes it hard to be productive without reading the entire book. I just finished it, and I think it presented a very clear, logical description of the language. However, if you only read the first half, you don't know "beginning python". Rather, you know half of the language, and can't do anything useful. This is entirely the wrong book to read if you need to write some useful python code tomorrow.

It was a little wordy and repetitive in places, but goes into enough depth to give a good understanding of the language.
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