- Paperback: 552 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (January 2, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596002815
- ISBN-13: 978-0596002817
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 52 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #736,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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
About the Author
Mark Lutz is an independent Python trainer, writer, and software developer, and is one of the primary figures in the Python community. He is the author of the O'Reilly books Programming Python and Python Pocket Reference (both in 2nd Editions), and co-author of Learning Python (both in 2nd Editions). Mark has been involved with Python since 1992, began teaching Python classes in 1997, and has instructed over 90 Python training sessions as of early 2003. In addition, he holds BS and MS degrees in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, and over the last two decades has worked on compilers, programming tools, scripting applications, and assorted client/server systems. Whenever Mark gets a break from spreading the Python word, he leads an ordinary, average life with his kids in Colorado. Mark can be reached by email at , or on the web at http://www.rmi.net/~lutz.
David Ascher is the lead for Python projects at ActiveState, including Komodo, ActiveState's integrated development environment written mostly in Python. David has taught courses about Python to corporations, in universities, and at conferences. He also organized the Python track at the 1999 and 2000 O'Reilly Open Source Conventions, and was the program chair for the 10th International Python Conference. In addition, he co-wrote Learning Python (both editions) and serves as a director of the Python Software Foundation. David holds a B.S. in physics and a Ph.D. in cognitive science, both from Brown University.
Top customer reviews
It does two things very well. First, it gives you a good overview of the language. You can read the book front to back and it has a nice progression. You'll certainly know the basics if you do that.
Second, and probably more importantly, for those of us too impatient to read a book cover-to-cover, it serves as an excellent reference for beginners. When I started out there were all the little noob things that I found myself constantly having to look up. Like "how do you specify a comment?" or "how do you structure and if-block?" or "how to you get a substring out of a string". Very basic questions like this that many python books don't bother with because apparently they are too basic.
If there is a weakness, it's just that this book is rather small and only covers the very basics. So reading this book alone will certainly not make you a mighty python programmer, or even give you enough info to probably write something interesting. But this book definitely deserves a place on your bookshelf if you are starting out and need the basics.
It is labeled as "the Kindle edition" as if it were the most recent version. It is not. The most recent edition of this book is the 4th edition, which contains MUCH more material than this edition. I found this out the hard way.
Regarding the book itself (4th edition), the comments are fair. It is highly informative and verbose but poor as a tutorial.
After a point I realized that I was hardly re-using my code in Perl...i used to just write up a script everytime it beckoned. I also started finding it extremely hard to maintain and even understand code that i had written a few years back. Electrical Engineers are super efficient at getting something done but not always with programming elan and elegance!!
I decided to move to Python...and this book is an excellent start...though it sounds like it is for beginners...it is nice to review the initial stuff to contrast with perl and it is reasonably exhaustive. I have found it much easier to maintain code and other people in my lab have also started using my code as it is much easier to understand. The object-oriented approach is an extra-incentive to think more in terms of C++....code is in general clean and quite-efficient (not as much as C..since it is byte-code).
All electrical engineers who use a lot of shell scripting and aren't experts in programming, moving to python will definitely offer more flexibility and is much faster to implement than C or C++. And this is a pretty decent book (check out Van Rossum's tutorial or something on the web to get a feel).