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Python Cookbook Paperback – July 15, 2002

ISBN-13: 063-6920001676 ISBN-10: 0596001673 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 606 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (July 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596001673
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596001674
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,646,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I have no reservations recommending this book." - Tim Penhey, Cvu, February 2003

About the Author

Alex Martelli spent 8 years with IBM Research, winning three Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards. He then spent 13 as a Senior Software Consultant at think3 inc, developing libraries, network protocols, GUI engines, event frameworks, and web access frontends. He has also taught programming languages, development methods, and numerical computing at Ferrara University and other venues. He's a C++ MVP for Brainbench, and a member of the Python Software Foundation. He currently works for AB Strakt, a Python-centered software house in Gteborg, Sweden, mostly by telecommuting from his home in Bologna, Italy. Alex's proudest achievement is the articles that appeared in Bridge World (January/February 2000), which were hailed as giant steps towards solving issues that had haunted contract bridge theoreticians for decades.

David Ascher is the lead for Python projects at ActiveState, including Komodo, ActiveState's integrated development environment written mostly in Python. David has taught courses about Python to corporations, in universities, and at conferences. He also organized the Python track at the 1999 and 2000 O'Reilly Open Source Conventions, and was the program chair for the 10th International Python Conference. In addition, he co-wrote Learning Python (both editions) and serves as a director of the Python Software Foundation. David holds a B.S. in physics and a Ph.D. in cognitive science, both from Brown University.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
These literary pieces are insightful, humorous and excellent.
Anthony Barker
If you are looking for an introductory book, buy "Learning Python" by Mark Lutz and David Ascher: it is the best one for this task.
Alessandro Bottoni
"You could actually leave out the code, change the title to 'The Python Philosophy' and still have a really valuable book."
Edward K. Ream

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Alessandro Bottoni on October 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
Of the many successes of Python, this is the least known but one of the most impressive: it has gained the affection and the respect of a hard guy like Alex Martelli. That is not an easy task for a small, interpreted programming language like Python.
When I first met Alex Martelli, at Think3, he was one of the oldest and most experienced programmers of the company, a programmer who had already used most of the existing languages and had used these languages for the development of large and complex applications, the kind of projects that took months or years to complete. He knew Perl very, _very_ well and was used to rely on a robust, elegant and sophisticated language like C++ for the development of his applications (like Think3's Thinkdesign, a very complex 3D CAD program). He was writing a _lot_ of software, using a large array of different languages and tools. He was a well respected internal consultant at Think3, charged to solve difficult problems related to the software architecture of the program being developed. He was not an easy guy to impress with "yet another small language".
Despite this, Python has gained some room in his heart. I consider this fact as one of the most significant success of this elegant and powerfull language. To be completely honest, I'm not completely surprised by this ending.
Alex Martelli is the kind of scientist and professional that appreciate elegance, wherever he can see it. The taste for elegance, the ability to take pleasure in elegance, is an important part of the scientist and engineer personality. It is hard to be a really good software professional without having any kind of interest for elegance. When you need a simple tool that can face complex problems, you are asking for elegance.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By "neurorat" on October 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is one of those rare books that is all meat and no fat. It is a wonderful collection of relevant and useful solutions for many programming problems that you will face, and many that you probably just figured were too hard to solve. It is clearly laid out, so finding a needed solution is easy.
One of the most powerful benefits of owning this book is astonishing amount of knowledge you can pick up by browsing it. With almost every recipe I discovered either a new approach to doing something with Python, that was far more elegant than what I would have thought of, or something that I didn't even consider was possible. It covers a vast array of important topics, from text processing, threads, object-oriented programming, and much more.
In short buy this book, grab a drink, and have a nice long sit-down session with it. You'll love every page of it.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Barker on August 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is more like an encyclopedia than a cookbook - each section is introduced and written in a different style and different sections are stronger and more cohesive than others. Some sections are bursting at the hinges and others feel like they are incomplete (like the algorithms section).
The introductions to each chapter alone are worth the price of the book. Each introduction is written by a different Pythonic luminari, such as Fredrik Lundh, Tim Peters, Alex Martelli, Guido van Rossum and many others. These literary pieces are insightful, humorous and excellent.
I love python, it follows Albert Einstein's principle « Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler ». As such, this book plays a valuable addition to my library. However, if you are just starting out I would recommend getting a different book first.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Hamish Lawson on October 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
With this kind of book, there is a danger of just reproducing in print a set of libraries that might have been more conveniently downloaded from a code repository. The "Python Cookbook" succeeds by concentrating on those idioms and techniques that can often be woven into various programs; in addition the accompanying commentaries usually do an excellent job of leaving the reader with a better understanding of the relevant issues. The value of the book is increased further by the well-written chapter introductions, which often yield deep insights into the Python way of doing things.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Edward K. Ream on October 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a superbly edited collection of recipes that originally appeared online containing corrections and updates to the programs, much added discussion, many additional recipes, and fourteen extended chapter introductions. Each snippet is first briefly introduced, then completely and clearly discussed at length. The explanations are easy for beginners to understand, without being in the least condescending, while offering a huge feast for more experienced programmers.
This book has garnered rave reviews on comp.lang.python, the internet newsgroup devoted to Python. Some examples:
"The book is uniformly fantastic, congratulations to the authors!"
"I should note that this is not much like a usual Cookbook, which offers quick "do things this way" recipes to follow, almost blindly. Instead it offers deep discussions of various approaches and uses state-of-the-art techniques (e.g., list comprehensions) that may not be at all obvious to newcomers."
"I would recommend something like Learning Python as a first book. But then Python Cookbook is the second book to get, or the first for those who have been with the language a while."
"I am sure it will be a long time before I have exhausted it. As someone whose recipes were accepted for publication I can only say that, given all the changes and enhancements, the editors were generous in their credits."
"You could actually leave out the code, change the title to 'The Python Philosophy' and still have a really valuable book."
To which the reply was:
"Nowhere quite as valuable, in my humble opinion. It's not just the 200+ recipes, it's the numerous snippets that show very directly how to do one thing or another...
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