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Programming Python 3rd Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596009250
ISBN-10: 0596009259
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"It's the industry standard publication on Python, but don't be put off if you're a beginner. It takes a lot of shelf space, but it's worth it!" .NET, February 2007

Book Description

Powerful Object-Oriented Programming
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1552 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 3rd edition (September 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596009259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596009250
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 2.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #801,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joshua Davies VINE VOICE on July 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
Wow. I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it's enormous. It took me almost a year to go through the whole thing, although I did stop and work through every single example. On the other hand, like "Learning Python", there are a lot of sidetracks that seem targeted at beginners which I felt could have easily been left out.
This book should be considered volume 2 of "Learning Python". "Learning Python" (or "volume 1") covers the core Python language in quite a bit of detail, but doesn't talk much about the library. "Programming Python", in turn, covers the Python library, but doesn't talk about the syntax of the language (you're expected to know all that already).
Even with 1500 pages, it would be impossible to do justice to the _entire_ Python library, so a useful subset is covered. The book is actually divided into seven subsections, and sections 2 (System Programming), 3 (GUI Programming), 4 (Internet Programming), and 5 (Tools and techniques) could each have legitimately been a book in their own right. Part 6 (Integration) was a bit weak compared to the others - it covered only two chapters, and was the only section of the book that included incomplete examples. Of course, Parts 1 & 7 were an introduction and an epilogue.
In terms of the Python standard library, "String Services", "File and Directory Access", "Data Persistence", "Generic Operating System Services", "Interprocess Communcation and Networking", "Internet Protocols and Support", and "Graphical User Interfaces" were covered indepth. "Internet Data Handling" and "Structured Markup Tools" were both touched on, but not really examined. Other Python-related topics such as Jython, Zope, ZODB and SWIG were discussed as well, along with examples.
The main strength of this book was its examples.
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Format: Paperback
The only thing I regret about buying this book is not getting the hardcover version - it's a huge, comprehensive book.

It's got the best section on GUI programming in python that I've seen so far, and all the examples given throughout the book are practical, useful thing - unlike a lot of other programming books that only give you proofs-of-concept.

If you're already comfortable with python, and are looking to solidify your knowledge of it to a great degree, this is the book for you.
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One thing I really wish O'Reilly would have made clear on the cover is the version of Python which was current at the time of publication. In this case, it's 2.4, so if you're looking for information on things like function decorators or the new generator abilities that 2.5 brought along, you're going to be as disappointed as I was.

Aside from the fact that some of the information is dated, it's still a good overview of practical solutions to realistic problems which can be solved in the language. It does tend to spend way too much time developing TkInter GUIs (which I do not personally care about one bit) and overusing the usual array of extremely unfunny Monty Python references (which I personally stopped caring about around 1984). If you cut out both of these things the book would probably require about half as much paper per copy, and it'd be a good deal more digestible to boot. There's also lots of Windows-specific silliness and the author continues to operate under the assumption that OS X does not exist (every mention of the Mac platform refers to information that hasn't been accurate for nearly 10 years at this point).
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Format: Paperback
This is the worst O'Reilly book I have ever owned. Unlike the other O'Reilly books Learning the Bash Shell, and Programming Perl, this book provides no information whatsoever for a beginner to learn Python. There are no chapters explaining the basics of syntax, flow control, variables, built in functions or subroutines. It provides little snippets of information on advanced topics of no use to a beginner than goes on to provide programming examples about a completely different topic the very next page. This book assumes that you are already completely proficient in programming python.
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This book is the ultimate Pythonic reference book, the best fit to this role I have yet seen. You will keep this book in the most cherished spot on your book shelf, or else right at your side on your computer desk, because you can almost instantly find any topic on which you need to brush up, in the midst of a programminng project.

It covers the core language as well as the most popular libraries and extension modules. It is difficult to choose any one portion of the book to highlight for extra praise, as all topics are treated so well. It is a complete book, the new definitive book about Python.
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I needed a good reference book for Python 2, and since the latest version is geared towards Python 3, this, the previous version, was a great value.
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Format: Paperback
This book is thicker than it is tall, is comprised of a quarter-acre of rain forest in paper, and is classified as a weapon in some states.
Not because it's some perfect codex of all Python knowledge, rather, it is an pointless accumulation of writing piled up for a decade. It repeats the same information not just in different chapters, but frequently in the same paragraph, just explaining something by saying the same thing over and over with different words five or six times in a row. It's poorly organized and painful to read.... which is tragic because Python is such a fun and easy language to learn.
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