- 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
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,321,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Python Cookbook 1st Edition
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"I have no reservations recommending this book." - Tim Penhey, Cvu, February 2003
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.
Top Customer Reviews
When I first met Alex Martelli, at Think3, he was one of the oldest and most experienced programmers of the company, a programmer who had already used most of the existing languages and had used these languages for the development of large and complex applications, the kind of projects that took months or years to complete. He knew Perl very, _very_ well and was used to rely on a robust, elegant and sophisticated language like C++ for the development of his applications (like Think3's Thinkdesign, a very complex 3D CAD program). He was writing a _lot_ of software, using a large array of different languages and tools. He was a well respected internal consultant at Think3, charged to solve difficult problems related to the software architecture of the program being developed. He was not an easy guy to impress with "yet another small language".
Despite this, Python has gained some room in his heart. I consider this fact as one of the most significant success of this elegant and powerfull language. To be completely honest, I'm not completely surprised by this ending.
Alex Martelli is the kind of scientist and professional that appreciate elegance, wherever he can see it. The taste for elegance, the ability to take pleasure in elegance, is an important part of the scientist and engineer personality. It is hard to be a really good software professional without having any kind of interest for elegance. When you need a simple tool that can face complex problems, you are asking for elegance. When you need a language that leave you with maintenable code, you are asking for elegance. When you want a single language for a wide array of applications, you are asking for elegance. Python can supply you with all the elegance you can ever ask for.
Alex's and David's book is a collection of good techniques that you can use to face a large set of problems with Python, from text transformation to GUI building to OpenGL grahics. You will not find here an introductory book, rather you will find a good second-reading book, the kind of book that can take you from the beginner level to the advanced. It is also the kind of book that can widen your knowledge of the Python world, showing you how this modern language can easily deal with problems that you usually face with C++ or the like.
If you are looking for an introductory book, buy "Learning Python" by Mark Lutz and David Ascher: it is the best one for this task. If you already know Python, buy this book and see how much you still do not know about it.
One of the most powerful benefits of owning this book is astonishing amount of knowledge you can pick up by browsing it. With almost every recipe I discovered either a new approach to doing something with Python, that was far more elegant than what I would have thought of, or something that I didn't even consider was possible. It covers a vast array of important topics, from text processing, threads, object-oriented programming, and much more.
In short buy this book, grab a drink, and have a nice long sit-down session with it. You'll love every page of it.
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.