- Paperback: 360 pages
- Publisher: Apress (2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1430224150
- ISBN-13: 978-1430224150
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.9 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #910,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dive into Python 3
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About the Author
By day, Mark Pilgrim is a developer advocate for open source and open standards. By night, he is a husband and father who lives in North Carolina with his wife, his two sons, and his big slobbery dog. He spends his copious free time sunbathing, skydiving, and making up autobiographical information.
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I was happy enough that I wanted to buy the physical printed edition of the book, to have as a reference and to support the author. I was expecting that the content had been professionally reformatted for book form, with suitable typeface selection and reflowed text. However, I was sorely disappointed when I received my printed copy. It would appear that SoHo Books has done nothing but take the PDF from Mark Pilgrim's site and printed it. I might not mind, except that this was done very poorly. I immediately noticed that the typeface was small, sans-serif, and worst, dithered! The letters are drawn with small,fine dots as if this were printed on an old dot-matrix printer. The result is unlike any other printed book I have, and I consider this unacceptable. The fonts in the PDF appear to be vector drawn when I scale it, and thus SoHo has no excuse for not doing a cleaner job of scaling the pages down. And that's all they did: take pages formatted for 8.5" x 11" and scale them down to about 5.5" x 7" or so. Further, they wastefully left 1.75" of dead white space on top and 1.5" on the bottom.
This cheap printing is a shameful waste of a tree, when it could have been done really well. I would have a much higher quality version if I had printed it on my own printer. I thank the author for licensing his work with the Creative Commons license, but I'm sad to report that I'll be returning this print version. I'll hold out hope that these problems could be corrected for future printings.
Maybe this is some Zen technique to learn programming topics, but as an experienced programmer I prefer a logical sequence of topics to build knowledge. It also lets me bypass stuff I don't need like regular expressions. This can't be good for a beginner either who would have no idea what was going on.
A) Are new to Python
B) Are not new to programming languages
The book got me set up and coding quickly, and the language is very clear, assuming you have some other coding background to compare it too. The examples are clear and easy to follow. He goes into the why and how of doing things wrong as often as how to do things right, which is very helpful when learning.
That being said as far as intermediate to advanced topics go, this book held nothing for me, and I quickly found myself referencing the web when possible.
3 stars: It will get you up to speed on python syntax and specifics quickly, but you will still be a newbie by the time you're done. You will still need other references for many modern programming tasks however.
I would strongly recommend looking for the APress printing of this book. I learned to write python from Dive Into Python and Pilgrim's writing style is interesting and engaging enough that I'm planning on rereading through most of Dive Into Python 3 (and have enjoyed the little I have read so far), but please don't reward the author's generosity in licensing this book under Creative Commons by buying a copy that does such poor justice to it.