- Series: Learning Python
- Paperback: 1648 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 5 edition (July 6, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1449355730
- ISBN-13: 978-1449355739
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 2.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 396 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From the Publisher
Who Uses Python Today?
At this writing, the best estimate anyone can seem to make of the size of the Python user base is that there are roughly 1 million Python users around the world today (plus or minus a few). This estimate is based on various statistics, like download rates, web statistics, and developer surveys. Because Python is open source, a more exact count is difficult—there are no license registrations to tally. Moreover, Python is automatically included with Linux distributions, Macintosh computers, and a wide range of products and hardware, further clouding the user base picture
- Raspberry Pi
- Industrial Light & Magic, Pixar
- EVE Online
- Thousands more...
Why Do People Use Python?
Because there are many programming languages available today, this is the usual first question of newcomers. Given that there are roughly 1 million Python users out there at the moment, there really is no way to answer this question with complete accuracy; the choice of development tools is sometimes based on unique constraints or personal preference.
But after teaching Python to roughly 260 groups and over 4,000 students during the last 16 years, I have seen some common themes emerge. The primary factors cited by Python users seem to be these:
- Software quality
- Developer productivity
- Program portability
- Support libraries
- Component integration
About the Author
Mark Lutz is a leading Python trainer, the author of Python’s earliest and best-selling texts, and a pioneering figure in the Python world.
Mark is the author of the three O’Reilly books: Learning Python, Programming Python, and Python Pocket Reference, all currently in fourth or fifth editions. He has been using and promoting Python since 1992, started writing Python books in 1995, and began teaching Python classes in 1997. As of Spring 2013, Mark has instructed 260 Python training sessions, taught roughly 4,000 students in live classes, and written Python books that have sold 400,000 units and been translated to at least a dozen languages.
Together, his two decades of Python efforts have helped to establish it as one of the most widely used programming languages in the world today. In addition, Mark has been in the software field for 30 years. He holds BS and MS degrees in computer science from the University of Wisconsin where he explored implementations of the Prolog language, and over his career has worked as a professional software developer on compilers, programming tools, scripting applications, and assorted client/server systems.
Mark maintains a training website (http://learning-python.com) and an additional book support site on the Web (http://www.rmi.net/~lutz).
Top customer reviews
First of all, I've read many of the other well reviewed, up-to-date, Python books (yes, all of them were shorter), and being new to Python, I ended up spending most of my time searching online trying to fill in the gaps that the other authors failed to fill in. With this book you don't need to reference anything else because the author does a great job of answering every question. You can tell he's dedicated his life to teaching Python and knows what problems his readers will run into.
While this books is long, it doesn't feel long. It's not just page after page of code samples. Each concept comes with a few code samples and is followed up by very well-written, clear explanations so it's actually a fairly quick read (for a 1600 page book). Does he repeat himself as other reviewers have noted? Yes, but it feels like when he does it's purposeful.
Even though you often hear that Python is easy to learn, it's an incredibly deep language that requires time and effort. I believe that by having read this book that I'm starting out far ahead of other new Python programmers, I appreciate the language even more and I'm very comfortable even with Python's advanced topics.
I dig the book, but at times I shake my head at the way the author provides so much detail.
Speaking as a "seasoned veteran" programmer who just doesn't yet know Python in particular, I found the first part (2-3 chapters) of the book to be a frustrating clutter of words intended for people with little programming experience -- a lot to wade through to find a couple-dozen or so tidbits of Python-specific information. https://docs.python.org/3.3/tutorial/index.html (public-domain tutorial) would have been better.
However, in chapter 5, the density of Python-specific information is starting to become dense enough that it's a lot less frustrating to wade through all the "any ol' programmer knows" information. So, that it's starting to get interesting and worthwhile, finally.