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The Quick Python Book

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1884777745
ISBN-10: 1884777740
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Python is a popular new language for web servers that is much easier to understand than Perl. For new users, this very good book explains basic programming with Python, data structures, Python and Windows, Java, and the computer graphics interface. Recommended for all libraries.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"..highly recommend it for the beginning and intermediate Python audience...best book...for getting beginners up to speed." -- Phil Hughes, Publisher, Linux Journal, Issue #73, May, 2000

"There are already several books on the market. This latest edition is very welcome." -- Francis Glassborough, Editor, C Vu, the Journal of the Association of C and C++ Users,

A clear and concise description of the Python language -- Python.org

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884777740
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884777745
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,477,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Excuse my enthusiasm, but this is one of the best software books I've ever read and I've been programming professionally for 16 years. I wanted to learn Python as a replacement for Perl so I bought all the O'Reilly books, which were OK but too chatty and disorganized for my taste. I picked up Quick Python and found myself reading it like a bestseller and I still reread it. I was amazed at its consistent clarity, depth and friendliness with lots of tight examples in a visually pleasing format. The authors don't just cover the material, they also let you in on the subtleties and gotchas that go unmentioned in a reference like Beazley's Python Essential Reference (which I also own but for me Quick Python works better most of the time).
Furthermore in order to explain Python well, the authors provide astute explanations of general programming topics such as exception handling, regular expressions, and the pros and cons of the current crop of popular programming languages. They also bring in experts, even Guido Van Rossum (the creator of Python), to write chapters on more advanced topics like JPython and Zope.
My only caveat is that this is not the best place for beginners to start--Lutz & Ascher's Learning Python would be better--but it is a good book for beginners to own and dip into as they develop.
Other reviewers have mentioned that Quick Python's coverage of Tkinter (the main Python GUI package) is thin and that's true, though somewhat understandable since Tkinter is quite a beast and whole books have been written that don't cover Tkinter or Tk all that well. I would dearly love to see Harms & McDonald bring their accessible, thorough-going approach to Tkinter and its extension, Python Megawidgets.
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Format: Paperback
(Please note this is written for the "second corrected printing 2000" which is a great improvement over earlier printings.)
Easy to get into, requires some previous knowledge of programming. Written in a clear, conversational style with good examples the reader can follow along with interactively.
Introduction grounds the reader with some background, and a comparison between python and other languages which includes a section on types of applications python is and is not ideally suited for.
Covers essentials including control structures, data structures, exceptions, and using the filesystem from within applications. From there, scoping, functions, classes, modules, and packages are explained to demonstrate how to break up your application into logical pieces. Also covered: GUI development using Tk and alternatives.
The final 200 pages comprises an advanced topic section and an excellent 50 page reference, as well as a well-organized and cross-referenced index that has proved consistently useful.
Highlights of Advanced Topics:
* Differences between scripting on Unix vs Windows, including how to make your scripts completely cross-platform
* JPython, including using JPython from Java
* Using Zope (popular open source application server/portal toolkit written in and extendable using Python)
* Extending Python with C and C++
* Using Python with COM
* Python and CGI; HTML generation
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Format: Paperback
The book lives up to its title. You should be able to start using python after you read through the core language features, and this should take only a few days (about 200 pages).
The book contains many code examples. This is a strength of the book, since the examples together with their analyses really help clarify the concepts.
The remainder of the book discusses advanced topics and advanced languages features. This part of the book is a very good overview of what python can do in real world projects.
The appendix contains a quick reference guide which I found very useful.
The overall appearance of the book is outstanding. The choice of typefaces makes the book very readable. Margin notes are provided which makes it easy to locate a topic or to quickly review the essential elements of a chapter.
The book contains a large number of errata, but most are quite easy to spot. An errata sheet is available.
Despite the errors in the text, I still give the book a high rating. It's the type of book I want to keep close at hand when I'm writing python code.
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Format: Paperback
A useful, inspiring textbook, and with for a computer book good font choices, so that one really likes to open it. It has a lot of typoos which is bothering, but it is good enough to let the author still pass. The reference at the end of the book is particularly useful, because modules and their methods are presented in an order, so that one finds them, when one needs them. I think the book starts entry level and guides quite high up. Still it's not all encompassing: For instance one needs extra material for XML programming and so on. But there are further books, like "XML Processing with Python", "Python Programming on Win32" or the best Python reference ever: "Python essential Reference" published by New Rider, all to get on amazon dot com, of course. When I have to recommend a Python book to a newcommer, and I also want, that he will become good fast, then he'll get this quick Python book. (And I have proof, that it works:-).
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