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Python Programming On Win32: Help for Windows Programmers Paperback – January 31, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 674 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (January 31, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565926218
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565926219
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,120,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Python Programming on Win32 zeroes in on the strengths of the Python programming language for the Windows platform. If you would like to use Python on Windows with Office 2000, this book is a perfect choice for getting started. While it's not an introduction to Python programming itself, the book does present some basic Python examples. (The authors do provide an impressive list of real-world projects that have used Python successfully, including an application at NASA and a major Web search engine.)

In lieu of a general language tour, this book centers on practical tips and examples for using Python on Windows, beginning with downloading and installing the free Python package. The most useful examples here present a Python library for general accounting objects. You'll learn how to write COM servers in Python and then how to script them in Visual Basic (used here to build user interfaces) and how to control Word and Excel with OLE Automation in Python. One standout example looks at building and printing accounting reports in Office 2000 using Python as the script language.

Later sections look at other possibilities, including how to use Python's support for MFC to build user interfaces. A notable section here looks at Windows NT system administration in Python. Because of its built-in support for dictionaries, Python is a natural fit for working with users, groups, permissions, and the like.

While Python's initial habitat may be Unix, Python Programming on Win32 shows that this powerful and increasingly popular object-oriented language may find its next home on Windows. Provided you have some previous exposure to the language, this book is an excellent resource for using Python in a Windows setting. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Python programming quick-start, Windows Python basics, Python support for COM/DCOM, the Pythonwin editor, Office 2000 scripting, Windows NT administration and system programming, Python MFC programming, and Active Scripting.

About the Author

Mark Hammond is an independent Microsoft Windows consultant working out of Melbourne, Australia. He studied computer science at the South Australian Institute of Technology (now the University of South Australia), and then worked with several large financial institutions in Australia. He started his consulting operation in 1995. Mark has produced many of the Windows extensions for Python, including PythonWin, Active Scripting, and Active Debugging support, and coauthored the COM framework and extensions. He is also a leading authority on Active Scripting and related technologies and has spoken on this subject at Microsofts three most recent Professional Developers conferences. Apart from being a father to his teenage daughter, having an interest in live music, and providing way-too-many free Python extensions, Mark has no life!

Andy Robinson is a London-based consultant specializing in business analysis, object-oriented design, and Windows development. He studied physics and philosophy, then Japanese studies at Oxford. He spent a year in advertising in Tokyo, two more in investment banking, and a long spell as the finance director of a startup in the sports industry. Observing that in all these positions he always ended up having to rewrite software, he moved to full-time computer consulting four years ago. He is currently helping one of the world's largest fund managers to internationalize their systems to handle Asian languages, developing Python systems for financial analysis, and reporting. Back when Andy had spare time, his passions were track and field, and rock climbing. Right now his two sons, Tim and Harry, are taking up all of his time.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By doctorwes on March 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Within a few hours of acquiring this book, it had enabled me to finish a project and save myself a lot of embarrassment at work.
The authors give is a detailed introduction to Python for Win32 developers - covering both system administration and back-end and front-end application development. It also provides an excellent introduction to COM (the Python/COM interface is the key component of the Win32 extensions). There is a nice progression from introductory material to quite advanced topics such as implementing NT services, or COM threading.
The range of topics covered is surprisingly broad. Also, the case studies are nice, and far from trivial: e.g. an accounting system that scripts Word and Excel, an invoicing system that produces PDF output.
The design of the Python Win32 extensions is admirable, so implementing COM clients in Python (e.g. scripting Excel) is simple - the online documentation is more than adequate. However, implementing COM servers (e.g. Excel-callable functions) is more subtle, and it would be unwise to attempt this without the information in this book. Hopefully a future edition will have more information on DCOM.
The section on GUI development is very helpful. I'm glad the authors covered wxPython as well as Tkinter - though less portable, wxPython is a much better framework on the Win32 platform.
There are some typos, but I haven't been confused by any so far.
The main difficulty with this book is that some of the information will become dated - the pace of development on both the Windows and Python sides seems to be rapid. Expect a second edition within a couple of years?
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Lars Lundstedt on May 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
As I say in the title this is not a bad book. It's just not what I expected. The title is a bit of a misnomer, perhaps it should have been called "COM programming with Python". I had hoped to find some useful stuff on how to write GUI applications for Win32 but that topic was just slightly more than 40 pages in a book with over 600 pages. Still, I'd recommend it to anyone running Python on a Win32 platform.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Niko Genimakis on May 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
Python is the best choice for people who want to implement COM in the software they develop - mostly due to its clear structure and object - oriented nature. This is where this book mostly comes.
This book is well-written, practical-oriented and ideal for the newbie programmer who has already some idea over Python (O'Reilly's 'Learning Python' is the best place to start).
However, even experienced programmers need it because it provides a set of useful examples for rapid prototyping and reuse components.
It misses a few spots - First, you can't find much help on working on GUIs - and second (and most important) SWIG does not get the attention it deserves - it is just mentioned.
Finally, if you use Python in Win32 - or if you cannot decide what kind of COM solution you wish to develop - DO NOT CONSIDER TAKING A STEP WITHOUT THIS BOOK !
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Niko Genimakis on May 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
Python is the best choice for people who want to implement COM in the software they develop - mostly due to its clear structure and object - oriented nature. This is where this book mostly comes.
This book is well-written, practical-oriented and ideal for the newbie programmer who has already some idea over Python (O'Reilly's 'Learning Python' is the best place to start).
However, even experienced programmers need it because it provides a set of useful examples for rapid prototyping and reuse components.
It misses a few spots - First, you can't find much help on working on GUIs - and second (and most important) SWIG does not get the attention it deserves - it is just mentioned.
Finally, if you use Python in Win32 - or if you cannot decide what kind of COM solution you wish to develop - DO NOT CONSIDER TAKING A STEP WITHOUT THIS BOOK !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mad Casual on February 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good way to get Python to 'do stuff' in a Win32 environment. I've found it most useful for dealing with people who utilize an exclusively Windows environment. Mostly, I've just taken my programs that others 'need' information from and quickly tacked on a printed report or updated spreadsheet that they can use. I don't know about writing whole programs in Windows, but it was more than adequate at helping me bridge the gaps I needed bridged. I presume the book to be pretty dated, but nothing I used was so out-of-date as to be non-functional.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Larry Bates on December 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you write Python programs to run on Microsoft Windows you are absolutely required to add this book to your library. Good coverage of writing COM servers, Windows Services, handling Windows Event logs. Information is very difficult to get elsewhere. Don't let the edition or the date turn you away. The fundamentals of Windows programming hasn't changed since Windows NT 4.0 was introduced so everything still works the same today as back then.
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38 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Ilya Levinson on November 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you know nothing about Python, Visual Basic, scripting languages, Win32 API, MFC, COM, active scripting, Windows Networking and NT administration, then after you've read this book you'll get some very general idea of what these all are about: this book covers them all, as well as many other things. But whenever it comes to tell you something really interesting, authors just say: "well, it's out of the scope of this book, so let's stop here..."
However, there are things this book does not cover. For instance, I thought scripting languages are a handy tool for text processing, but throughout this book I encountered only one mention of regular expressions - in the context of filtering file names, and you won't find regular expressions in the Index. From 10-page Chapter "Working with Email" you'll learn what SMTP and POP3 stand for, and from 15-page Appendix(!) "Threads" you'll learn that Python has something to do with threads, and fairly much about COM threading model.
Information in this 650-page book can fit a dozen-page article. Most of all this book looks like a slide show for marketing, trying to convince them that Python is the answer to all questions. And most of the time it sounds like: "It's easy, we won't tell you exactly what and how, but for smart guys like us who can read man pages, it's very easy."
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