- Paperback: 717 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 4 edition (July 19, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0672329786
- ISBN-13: 978-0672329784
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 108 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Python Essential Reference (4th Edition) 4th Edition
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From the Publisher
From the Back Cover
"Python Essential Reference" is the definitive reference guide to the Python programming language - the one authoritative handbook that reliably untangles and explains both the core Python language and the most essential parts of the Python library.
Designed for the professional programmer, the book is concise, to the point, and highly accessible. It also includes detailed information on the Python library and many advanced subjects that is not available in either the official Python documentation or any other single reference source. Thoroughly updated to reflect the significant new programming language features and library modules that have been introduced in Python 2.6 and Python 3, the fourth edition of "Python Essential Reference" is the definitive guide for programmers who need to modernize existing Python code or who are planning an eventual migration to Python 3. Programmers starting a new Python project will find detailed coverage of contemporary Python programming idioms. This fourth edition of "Python Essential Reference" features numerous improvements, additions, and updates: Coverage of new language features, libraries, and modules
Practical coverage of Python's more advanced features including generators, coroutines, closures, metaclasses, and decoratorsExpanded coverage of library modules related to concurrent programming including threads, subprocesses, and the new multiprocessing moduleUp-to-the-minute coverage of how to use Python 2.6's forward compatibility mode to evaluate code for Python 3 compatibilityImproved organization for even faster answers and better usabilityUpdates to reflect modern Python programming style and idioms Updated and improved example codeDeep coverage of low-level system and networking library modules - including options not covered in the standard documentation
About the Author
David M. Beazley has been programming Python since 1996. While working at Los Alamos National Laboratory, he helped pioneer the use of Python with scientific computing software. Through his company, Dabeaz LLC, he provides software development, training, and consulting related to the practical use of dynamic programming languages such as Python, Ruby, and Perl, especially in systems programming. He is author of all previous editions of Python Essential Reference, and was contributing author of Steve Holden’s Python Web Programming. He is a member of the Python Software Foundation.
Top customer reviews
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the table of contents is well organized into 2 groups actually, which is helpful when looking for a concept rather than a specific syntax issue.
unfortunately, the book uses python2 as the foundation (It still references py3 but often as a throw away--example: 2 paragraphs of explanation and a side now that it's done a different way in py3), so in that respect, it is a little outdated.
If you use Python3 (which, at this point, you likely do), wait for the 5th edition.
Update (after reading 200+ pages) It is easy for me to agree with all of the reviewers who praise this book, and I can understand the point of view of some of those who are critical. In some cases, additional examples would be helpful, and perhaps even necessary. However, with any effort at all, you will surely be able to locate some online. But.., consider again the title of my review.
Recently I was forced to make a switch and have to program a project in Python in order to use a provided API. I am so happy that I found this resource, it is exactly what I needed as an experienced programmer to make the shift. The information is provided with the assumption you know how to code. It is dense without much filler. So many programming language books devote the majority of the time to the general process of programming and insufficient time to the language. It is not so with this one.
On top of that this book goes the extra mile to help you jump into the evolving world of Python as it makes the shift form Python 2 to 3. The book is very informative about what is changing and helps you know what works in 2 and what changes will be required for 3.
I would highly recommend this Python book to someone looking at Python for the first time with significant experience in another language.
I already own a couple of other Python books, but they were either too introductory or too formulaic. This book, on the other hand, was perfect. It packs a lot of information into 717 pages and includes an extremely rigorous introduction to the language. If you're comfortable with a variety languages (say C and Lisp), you should be able to pick up Python with a reasonable degree of sophistication by reading the first 100 pages of this book. If you like "The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs", I daresay you'll have no trouble with the pace here.
I was also looking for a summary of the major Python modules, and Mr. Beazley devotes the remaining 500 pages to that topic. This section of the book isn't trying to provide an exhaustive reference to all of the Python modules; rather, I think the intent was to provide an basic overview so that someone new to Python would have an idea of what is available.
This book has everything one might want in a language reference: the table of contents is thorough, the section names are descriptive, and the index is complete. The designer also included a grey bar along the edge of the page at the beginning of every chapter, so it is easy to page through it.
In summary, this book is everything I was hoping for in a Python reference.