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The Quick Python Book, Second Edition 2nd Edition

50 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1935182207
ISBN-10: 193518220X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Naomi Ceder has been programming in various languages for over 20 years and has been a Linux system administrator since 2000. She started using Python for a variety of projects in 2001 and is an elected member of the Python Software Foundation. Naomi is the IT Director/Lead Developer for Zoro Tools, Inc of Buffalo Grove, Illinois, and is also an organizer of the Chicago Python Workshop and the CLC Linux Club. An advocate for open software and open content, Naomi gives talks to whoever will listen on Python and the benefits of teaching programming, particularly in schools.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 2nd edition (January 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193518220X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935182207
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After getting a PhD in Classics, Naomi Ceder ended up in technology, and has been teaching programming for nearly 20 years. She has been involved with Python since 2001, administering servers and developing large database and web applications using Python, Zope, Django, and various Python libraries. Naomi also helped found the Fort Wayne Linux Users Group, is a member of the Python Software Foundation and frequently speaks on using and teaching Python in schools and gives day-long training sessions on programming and teaching in Python.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

173 of 174 people found the following review helpful By Alexandros Gezerlis on July 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
"The Quick Python Book, Second Edition" is Vernon Ceder's reworking of the well-received volume "The Quick Python Book" by Daryl Harms and Kenneth McDonald. Ceder has removed a number of specialized chapters on COM, C & C++ extensions, JPython, HTMLgen & Zope and, more important, he has brought the text completely up to date, covering Python 3.1.

Most Python texts out there describe Python 2.x, so this book's main competition is: a) Mark Summerfield's "Programming in Python 3: A complete introduction to the Python Language, Second Edition", and b) Mark Pilgrim's "Dive into Python 3", while two other major books have incorporated material on Python 3, namely c) James Payne's "Beginning Python: Using Python 2.6 and Python 3.1" and d) Mark Lutz's "Learning Python: Powerful Object-Oriented Programming, 4th Edition".

The Good: this book is nice and short. It assumes a certain level of competence/background, so it does not waste space introducing the language-independent basics of flow control, object orientation, exception handling, and so on. It is example-based, and unlike in Pilgrim's volume the first few examples are short and thus readable. Chapter 3 ("The Quick Python overview") can be used as a compact reference when you're done reading the book, and various tables throughout the book help it function as a reference. Unlike its competition, it doesn't spend chapter upon chapter on databases, networking, or web applications. Instead, such topics are covered in only one (short) chapter at the end of the book. Ceder offers useful advice on the interrelation between older and newer Python features, whether discussing how to be more idiomatic (e.g.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Juan Gomez on October 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the *best* book to learn Python for professional programmers or people that already know how to program on a different language.

If you're interested in learning Python but want to quickly get up to speed not only on the language itself but its real essence, its elegant syntax and effective coding style, this is really the book for you. It has all the basic stuff without the "fluff". You don't have to put up with basic tutorials for non-programmers or super advanced topics for language experts, Just what you need to start effectively writing Python code that is up to the standards of the Python community.

This won't be your only Python book, but it definitely has to be your first!!!

On the last few chapters it'll scratch the surface of more advanced topics and effectively point you to a wealth of online resources, where you'd be able to learn more and then decide if you want to continue on your own or pick a more advanced book focused on a specific topic.

It's a great book not only to learn the syntax and features, but grasp the "Zen" of Python which makes it such an elegant and "sexy" language.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've done some programming in a few other languages (Assembly, Basic, C, C#, C++, Java, Erlang, Matlab, GAMS, CUDA, Alloy, etc.), and out of the several dozen programming books on my shelf, this one is my second favorite (1st being K&R's ANSI C).

I'm not sure if an absolute beginner (i.e. no other programming exposure) would find the book as enjoyable as I did, and the more advanced users will probably be disappointed with lack of coverage of topics related to networking, parallel extensions (i.e., PyCUDA, etc.), scientific / engineering computing (SciPy, NumPy), but each of those topics can take up a whole tome and 1000+ page programming books are so tl;dr.

Of the topics that were covered, some are necessarily shallow (GUI development, parsing & regular expressions, data structures, etc.). But again, that's how K&R taught many generations C programming: Keep it simple enough to get started, and you can always learn how to overflow the stack later.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ajay Patel on March 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book's overview states that it is a "clear, concise introduction to Python 3, aimed at programmers new to Python", and it achieves exactly that. For you to get the most out of the book you need a functional understanding of at least one other programming language and already have an understanding of basic programming concepts and constructs. The book does a good overview of Python, covering all important concepts. It is concise enough to run through fairly quickly. Also, it is setup such that you can skip sections (especially in the later half of the book) that do not interest you.

I purchased two Python books when I started with the language, this book and "Programming Python by Mark Lulz (O'Reilly)". The O'Reilly book is 5 times thicker and provides a much more comprehensive coverage of the language. But I have rarely found any use of the O'Reilly book. On the other hand I have often found myself referring to the the quick Python book. And when I need to look up things not in the quick book, I end up using online docs and reference anyway.

Overall this is a perfect book for a programmer looking to start with Python.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Goetz on October 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
To paraphrase Einstein, a technical book should be as simple as possible, but not too simple. With the exception of a few typos (which should be corrected by the 3rd printing), I found this book to be thorough, clearly written, and enjoyable to read. As with most high level languages, a previous familiarity with other program languages is helpful for deeper comprehension, but not necessary. Now that I'm using python, I often find myself going back to this book to look up stuff rather than the mightier tomes sitting on my bookshelf. My only real quibble (communicated to the author) is reprinted below.

Ch. 14 and 15 should probably be in reverse order, since the Exception chapter (14) depends somewhat on the concept of Classes (e.g. inheritance), while the definition of Classes (15) is completely independent from the concept of Exceptions. Further, Classes and OO are central to Python, so by covering classes first, the Exceptions chapter becomes "now that you know about the core of python programming, here's how you handle exceptions" for better narrative flow.
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