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Expert Python Programming: Best practices for designing, coding, and distributing your Python software Paperback – September 26, 2008
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About the Author
Tarek Ziadé is CTO at Ingeniweb in Paris, working on Python, Zope, and Plone technology and on Quality Assurance. He has been involved for 5 years in the Zope community and has contributed to the Zope code itself. Tarek has also created Afpy, the French Python User Group and has written two books in French about Python. He has gave numerous talks and tutorials in French and international events like Solutions Linux, Pycon, OSCON, and EuroPython.
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The value of the book is in helping advanced beginners understand what questions they should be asking. It is *not* the definitive answer to any of those questions; rather, it serves merely to open one's eyes to the questions that should be answered on the road to expertise. This described my place in the Python world well and I got a great deal of value out of the book.
If you are already quite advanced in developing in another similar language (say Ruby) and already know what sorts of problems can be solved / you should be finding answers to in your production cycle Google will get you further faster than this book.
If you are looking to really understand Python, the language, not so much how to develop with it I'd suggest Learning Python instead.
The huge obvious issue is the writing: this book cries out for a native English speaker to aggressively edit it.
TL;DR: this book isn't a language reference, it isn't application topical, it isn't a library reference and it isn't beginner. It's poorly written. The topic s aren't discussed in anything approaching expert detail; however, I found it invaluable in advancing the way I think about what I should be thinking about when I write Python code.
However, there are way too many editing mistakes in here. I understand that English is not the author's primary language, but he should have gotten an editor or reviewer to fix his grammar and punctuation mistakes. More importantly, there are a lot of typos and obvious bugs in the Python code examples used throughout the book. I would recommend the author follow in the footsteps of The Pragmatic Programmer and ensure that all the code in his book actually compiles and runs.
My chief complaint is that the book tries to cover dozens of topics (literally) in only a few paragraphs each. Often, you get a quick sentence or two introducing a topic, a short code snippet that tries to illustrate the point and then a reference to the project web site or a general Wikapedia entry expanding on the topic (imagine that, RTFM in a book!). Ziade is no Kernighan and Richie where each small code example practically exudes elegance and style, nor is he Josh Boch where a few thoughtful paragraphs of explanation (by a true expert) go a long way towards illuminating arcane but critical details of the language and its use. Instead, I got the feeling I was looking over the shoulder of a young, hotshot programer during a coffee break as he demonstrates his latest hack.
It is impossible to do justice to Python's advanced features in the short chapters here. Much less trying to introduce an entire software stack for code management, testing, and distribution. Instead of enriching my understanding of Python, I often set down the book more confused and frustrated than before. Is it really this convoluted? The book feels like reading a Wiki. There is no depth, no context, it is just a 340-page list of what should be in a book (probably several books) about expert programing in Python. But isn't yet.
You can find some important topics (like how to distribute your software) what can't be found in other books.
Most recent customer reviews
I do not recommend buying in this version.
I found this book useful primarily as a list of suggestions or tricks ---...Read more