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Dive Into Python Paperback – July 19, 2004
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Mark Pilgrim is an extremely accessible author. He teaches by example. Each chapter teaches powerful techniques and Python idioms by creating a useful program. Anybody with programming experience should be able to follow the examples and learn the language - although a few visits to the Python website docs may help along the way.
Each example is brief and annotated. The annotations combine with explanatory text to reveal the power of this incredible programming language. Python runs on virtually any popular platform and can be downloaded for free. Mark's excellent work will help empower the reader to do useful things almost immediately.
One of the early example programs reads through a directory of MP3 files and lists the header information, such as artist, album, etc. This is accomplished with just a few lines of code.
Mark makes the point that everything in Python is an object. While this is not a text on hard-core object oriented programming, it is an excellent opportunity for the OOP beginner to get a handle on it.
Pilgrim also emphasizes good programming techniques, such as documentation and unit testing. In one of the later chapters he even creates a Python unit testing framework that works for testing Python code to see if it performs as expected. Again, this example is annotated, used to develop both the software engineering skill of unit testing AND properties of the Python language.Read more ›
The author really understands the subject matter, and he really understands what is needed by readers who already have a strong programming background. Once you've worked your way through this book, you'll understand 1) Python, 2) Good programming practices in Python, and 3) Why Python has become such a success amongst professional programmers.
NOTE: If you don't already know programming, hold off on this book until later. If the whole topic of programming is brand new to you, go instead for Mark Lutz' book, "Learning Python (2nd edition)". Mark covers in great detail what could go wrong as you try things out. He insures you won't get lost. To do that, he has to be very explicit about everything. Experienced programmers don't need nearly so much detail, as they already know most of the stuff in the Lutz book, and will find themselves skipping trememdous amounts. These are the folks for whom this book is written.
I am finding this to be a great book for evangelization of others to the ranks of Python maniac.
Dive into Python
Briefly: don't get the Kindle edition. The point of Dive Into Python is to dive into code, presenting examples and discussing the examples. The Kindle edition is fatally flawed, in that the majority of the code is misformatted - it is wrapped into paragraphs is if it were text. This makes the code examples nearly unreadable, and they're the whole point of the Dive into Python book.
Veterans of other languages will see here a reimplementation of many nice features of several languages. For example, C++ has its Standard Template Library. And the default Java installation comes replete with an extensive library. So too does Python. Pilgrim covers examples of key libraries in various chapters. Like one that knows HTML and another than can parse XML. So you don't have to go back to writing grungy low level code. And writing an XML parser is very tricky to get right. Java and C# programmers have also found introspection to be vital for writing more flexible and modular programs. So that one class can dynamically find another class's methods at runtime. Guess what? Python lets you do this too.
Python is also fully object oriented. Not bad for a 'mere' scripting language. Unlike some others, that are just weakly OO.
The style of the book is example-driven, with carefully chosen examples that introduce key sections of Python. In some way, like a bottoms-up approach. Pilgrim is forthright about the presentation; deliberately eshewing a more elegant, theoretical layout. Very nuts and bolts.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is very interesting book. I began to study Python and I am glad. Thank you.Published 15 months ago by Sergii
Not just an excellent Python language.book - an excellent programming book written with great style and intelligence. Fun to read.Published 21 months ago by Conrad Leonard
This book is good, but kindle variant required further developed. As result of converting to e-book there are a lot of stupid mistakes like extra spaces and so on. Read morePublished on May 18, 2014 by pavel
Some of the sites used in examples are bo longer functioning but other than that an excellect book on Python. Read morePublished on November 6, 2013 by Johnathan Falk
A really Excellent book.
Highly recommended to read.
But I do not recommend to buy it for Kindle and pay $17. Read more
just download it. the document is pretty much free on the internet. There aren't alot of good examples to base the language off ofPublished on January 7, 2013 by Kelly Ryan
Need I say more? Mark Pilgrim might have retired from the interwebs but his work remains online and in print. Read morePublished on November 30, 2012 by Tech Junkie