- Paperback: 706 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 3 edition (June 1, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1449340377
- ISBN-13: 978-1449340377
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Python Cookbook, Third edition 3rd Edition
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About the Author
David Beazley is an independent software developer and book author living in the city of Chicago. He primarily works on programming tools, provide custom software development, and teach practical programming courses for software developers, scientists, and engineers. He is best known for his work with the Python programming language, for which he has created several open-source packages (e.g., Swig and PLY) and authored the acclaimed Python Essential Reference. He also has significant experience with systems programming in C, C++, and assembly language.
Brian K. Jones is a system administrator in the department of computer science at Princeton University.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book has showed me how to do a lot of new things, and even if I already knew how to do something, now I know how to do it better, faster, cleaner, or more robustly.
The book is also well written. Finding the material, and reading through the narratives for particular snippets of code is very clear, there's rarely a need to go back to re-read anything, ideas are conveyed simply but effectively.
I own a bunch of other Python books, but they all have a time and place in your learning process. This book spans so much material, that it is much more universal; I keep going back to it to look things up, sometimes for no other reason but to verify that I'm on the right path.
One particular recipe that I liked was 9.1 on how to time a function. When I am using Python I often need to time the code, and usually I need to look up how to do it. This example created a decorator function for timing. It makes it so that you can just put @timethis on top of a function and see how long it takes to execute. I appreciated how elegant this solution was as opposed to the way I was implementing it.
Most examples are self contained and all the code examples that I tried worked. Additionally, there is a GitHub that the authors created which provides all the code for the examples if you do not want type it yourself. The examples themselves were applied to real world problems; I could see how the recipe was used clearly. When the authors felt they could not provide an entire solution in the text, they point the correct place to visit online.
The range in topics was impressive. I found the most challenging chapters to be 9, 12, and 15 which were on metaprogramming, concurrency, and C Extensions. At the beginning of the book the recipes cover topics you would expect like data structures and algorithms, strings, and generators. I found myself surprised that I had not seen a lot of the techniques and solutions before. They were well crafted solutions, and I appreciated how much time and detail the authors must have spent to gather the information.
This is a great reference to have by your side when programming in Python.
When he discusses a problem, Beazley gives you his favorite solution. He also presents alternatives, discusses pros and cons, and calls your attention to subtle details in the solution --- leaving you with a feeling of having learned something of value.
But that's only the beginning. It's hard to describe the pleasure of reading some of the solutions in the Iterators and Generators section, for instance. Actually, I take that back. The pleasure is the same kind as what you may have felt when you first came upon ideas in books such as Bentley's Programming Pearls, way back when.
I hadn't felt that excited about a programming book in a long time. This is one you can take along with you on a weekend just for the pleasure of sipping from it. Sad to say, but there are many O'Reilly books I feel like passing on soon after acquiring them. This one will have a special place on the shelves.
I just bought this today. Unlike some early technical Kindle books I've purchased, the formatting is excellent. Kudos to the authors and publisher. But when I first browsed the content with Kindle-Android on my 7" tablet (Nexus), I still found it frustrating to read. Next, I tried my laptop with a 14" screen - better. And then tried it on my PC with a large monitor and found reading and jumping around the content much more productive and pleasurable. Switched back to the tablet, I changed the text settings to minimums for font size, margin size, line spacing and entered full-screen mode. Result: much better! That said, I still found the much larger screen area on my PC monitor preferable.
Bottom Line: Buy this for great Python 3.3 code and advice in a flexible format.
Don't expect to get much from this book if you are new to Python. But for the seasoned Python programmer, this book will teach you new tricks and live by your desk as a constant reference. This book includes chapters full of various things you might want to "cook up" in your Python program, each example with an extensive discussion about it. Each chapter is very organized and it's quick to find exactly what you need.
I own a printed copy of the book, and the quality of the typesetting and printing was done very well on my copy.