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Twisted Network Programming Essentials Paperback – October 30, 2005

18 customer reviews

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Book Description

Developing With Python's Event-driven Framework

About the Author

Abe Fettig is a software developer and maintainer of Hep, an open source message server that makes it possible to transparently route information between RSS, email, weblogs, and web services. He speaks frequently at software conferences including PyCon and lives in Portland, Maine with his wife, Hannah.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (October 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596100329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596100322
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,403,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Turner on November 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Check out the table of contents: The chapters are Getting Started, Building Simple Clients and Servers, Web Clients, Web Servers, Web Services and RPC, Authentication, Mail Clients, Mail Servers, NNTP Clients and Servers, SSH, and finally Services, Processes, and Logging.

That's a lot of distinct subjects in a two-hundred page book. The result is a good demonstration of how broad Twisted's domain is, but the chapters, for the most part, do not build on one another. While that allows you to skip the chapter on news servers and read the SSH chapter without much difficulty, it also means you're getting lots of separate chunks of knowledge that don't add up to anything greater than the sum of their parts.

I was hoping to see more material on general topics that apply to all Twisted programs. Interfaces are one example. Interfaces, as used in Twisted, are not a part of the Python standard library and I would not assume a reader to be familiar with them. But while Interfaces do come up in a number of the examples, nowhere does the author take the time to explain why you're importing from zope.interface or how and where Twisted uses them. Yes, there are examples, but nothing to help you understand the theory for when you have to write your own code.

Nowhere do we learn how to write tests for asynchronous functions. While the last chapter touches on the organization of services in a Twisted application, it fails to note basics like what method you'd want to implement to run tasks during a graceful shutdown. In all the attention to different network protocols, the framework aspect of Twisted seems to have been neglected.

So overall, if you want to embed an email server in your application, this book will give you a place to start.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Arnar Birgisson on July 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was disappointing to me. It does not cover Twisted fundamentals very well or comprehensively, but is rather a collection of few large code-examples and verbose commentary. For an introductory (or 'essentials' as the title state) material to Twisted, you are better off with the online manuals.

Granted, there are a few "oh - that's clever" moments in the book, but those are buried in the examples and hard to look up for future reference.

The bulk of the book shows examples for web clients and servers (simple stuff, not useful since easier-to-use and more powerful tools/libraries exist) and low-level pop, smtp, imap and nntp servers and clients (probably not very common in today's applications).

I haven't used Twisted extensively in a real project, but I have read the online docs and fiddled with small scripts - and the "new" things beyond them that I discovered reading this book can be counted on the fingers of one hand (namely Perspective Broker, authentication and SSH stuff).

I would have liked this book to be a more comprehensive overview of twisted's fundamentals and the base-protocols it provides - with more examples of custom protocols - since that's probably what most people turn to Twisted for.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lee Crawford on July 20, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is nothing more than a handful of code examples that you can just as easily get from the web. There's nothing in the way of overall architecture, insightful approaches to using Twisted in an application setting, etc. Save your money and read the web pages. Worst O'Reilly book ever.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael Pirnat on February 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
When Twisted started to explode onto the scene, I was really intrigued by its varied capabilities and asynchronous model, but I was turned off by the then-scant documentation and the webapp framework transition that was just beginning (Woven was deprecated and Nevow was too new for any sort of coherent explanation). I just didn't have time to wrap my head around it, and so Twisted fell off my radar screen for a while. Eventually, I saw that a book was on the way, and I was excited to jump back in with it as my guide.

Twisted Network Programming Essentials is not an exhaustive reference to Twisted, nor does it even pretend to be. Rather, it's a pretty friendly, task-oriented exploration, providing examples of common tasks and insight into the key concepts and design patterns that are essential to grokking Twisted. Each chapter focuses on a particular topic, and they're arranged to build upon each other nicely. Sections within each chapter are broken down into a practical, easily digested structure--we're introduced to the task at hand, then the "How do I do that?" and "How does it work?" bits clearly and plainly walk us through an example solution and dissect its inner workings. At 202 pages of actual text, its eleven chapters make for a comfortable chapter-per-evening of reading and play. It's well worth either keying in or downloading the example code to see Twisted in action.

Covered topics include installing Twisted, the essential Twisted concepts; HTTP clients and servers; RPC; authentication; mail clients and servers (POP and IMAP); NNTP clients and servers; fun with SSH; and some practical, non-glamorous things like running your app as a proper daemon, adding administrative interfaces, and logging.
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