- Paperback: 1216 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 4th edition (October 12, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596158068
- ISBN-13: 978-0596158064
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 2.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (383 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learning Python: Powerful Object-Oriented Programming 4th Edition
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As a book for programmers who want to learn Python, it does a very good job. The coverage is informative and well order; making it easy to find what you're looking for. Overall, if you do some work with Python, you will benefit from owning this book. " - Sam Smith, news@UK, March "This book is a good example of Python culture, in the clarity of its text as much as in the quality of its code. Anyhone working their way through it will have a solid foundation upon which to explore Python's potential. Highly recommended." - Ivan Uemilianin, CVu, October 2004 --Ivan Uemilianin, CVu, October 2004 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Powerful Object-Oriented Programming
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Top customer reviews
Speaking of which, readers will need to have at least some previous programming experience to make sense of this book, since it relies heavily on jargon that complete beginners are unlikely to understand. If you don't already know what functions, methods, strings, and such are (and experienced programmers here will laugh, but when you are first starting out, such terms can be confusing!) the author isn't going to explain, or if he does, it will be 200 pages later in a different section.
A more minor complaint is the dry and formal, textbook-like voice of the author. I don't need to be constantly entertained while learning, but I do need to have fun, and a little humor and personality go a long way.
I'm over a hundred pages in, and I give up. I need to actually program while learning to program. I was looking for a beginner friendly, tutorial style book that would encourage exploration and test my knowledge with quizzes. This isn't it. I think I will go back to my severely outdated copy of Beginning Python by Magnus Lie Hetland to brush up on basic program construction, then use this book as a reference as I get deeper into programming with Python.
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.
The problem with this book is a) it's incredibly boring b) there's a real void of exercises c) wayyy to much detail. The best way to learn a language is to get hands on and start coding, fun exercises that are a great way to do that. But this book has really dull Q&A at many chapters, after a length explanation of concepts. It's almost unreadable. It's like the author is more interested in demonstrating how much he knows, rather than actually having you learn. It also explains in way to much detail early on - to much so, with lengthy dissertations on data types, different, different in language specifications etc etc.
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