- Paperback: 606 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (July 15, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596001673
- ISBN-13: 978-0596001674
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,905,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Python Cookbook 1st Edition
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About the Author
Alex Martelli spent 8 years with IBM Research, winning three Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards. He then spent 13 as a Senior Software Consultant at think3 inc, developing libraries, network protocols, GUI engines, event frameworks, and web access frontends. He has also taught programming languages, development methods, and numerical computing at Ferrara University and other venues. He's a C++ MVP for Brainbench, and a member of the Python Software Foundation. He currently works for AB Strakt, a Python-centered software house in Gteborg, Sweden, mostly by telecommuting from his home in Bologna, Italy. Alex's proudest achievement is the articles that appeared in Bridge World (January/February 2000), which were hailed as giant steps towards solving issues that had haunted contract bridge theoreticians for decades.
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.
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Recipes are organized in seventeen chapters. Chapters begin with short introduction on the topic covered, and is well worth the reading alone (even if you're primarily interested on a specific recipe take the time and read the introduction text). Each recipe is comprised of four sections: Problem definition -> Solution (code) -> Discussion -> Pointers to other relevant recipes or material.
No matter how proficient you're at coding in Python you'll certainly found some useful tips, new approaches or coding techniques. Usually technical books have strong and weak parts which I point out in my reviews, this one is different. As someone before me stated, this book is all meat and no fat. What else do you want from your diet?
The introductions to each chapter alone are worth the price of the book. Each introduction is written by a different Pythonic luminari, such as Fredrik Lundh, Tim Peters, Alex Martelli, Guido van Rossum and many others. These literary pieces are insightful, humorous and excellent.
I love python, it follows Albert Einstein's principle « Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler ». As such, this book plays a valuable addition to my library. However, if you are just starting out I would recommend getting a different book first.
In pleasant, small doses this book reveals how Python experts think about and solve a wide range of problems.
This book has garnered rave reviews on comp.lang.python, the internet newsgroup devoted to Python. Some examples:
"The book is uniformly fantastic, congratulations to the authors!"
"I should note that this is not much like a usual Cookbook, which offers quick "do things this way" recipes to follow, almost blindly. Instead it offers deep discussions of various approaches and uses state-of-the-art techniques (e.g., list comprehensions) that may not be at all obvious to newcomers."
"I would recommend something like Learning Python as a first book. But then Python Cookbook is the second book to get, or the first for those who have been with the language a while."
"I am sure it will be a long time before I have exhausted it. As someone whose recipes were accepted for publication I can only say that, given all the changes and enhancements, the editors were generous in their credits."
"You could actually leave out the code, change the title to 'The Python Philosophy' and still have a really valuable book."
To which the reply was:
"Nowhere quite as valuable, in my humble opinion. It's not just the 200+ recipes, it's the numerous snippets that show very directly how to do one thing or another... then, sure, the text can also be quite helpful by showing what is going on, what's preferable under what conditions, and so on..."
The general consensus seems to be summed up in this posting:
"If you are serious about Python then get this book."
To which I replied:
"I couldn't agree more. I won't embarrass myself by telling all the things I learned in the first chapter. This really is an awe-inspiring book for the breadth of its coverage and the complete excellence of its presentation. The authors and especially the editors deserve the highest praise. Even when explaining the most elementary topics the editors manage to be interesting and even surprising. I have already turned down the corners dozens of pages that I want to study in detail. In short, this is just a superb job. It shows the power of a community of users enhanced by the editing of all-stars."
About the reviewer: Edward K. Ream has more than 30 years of programming experience and is the author of a major application written in 100% pure Python. While working on this project he has benefited greatly from the help given on comp.lang.python, often by the contributors and editors of the Python Cookbook.