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1. Python Programming for the Absolute
2. Learning Python: Powerful Object-Oriented
3. Python Programming: An Introduction
4. Programming Python
5. Practical Programming: An Introduction
6. Programming in Python 3: A Complete
7. Core Python Programming (2nd Edition)
8. Python Essential Reference (4th
9. Programming Python
10. A Primer on Scientific Programming
11. The Quick Python Book, Second
12. Rapid GUI Programming with Python
13. Programming in Python 3: A Complete
14. Python Cookbook
15. Guide to Programming with Python
16. An Introduction to Python
17. Foundations of Python Network
18. Python
19. Python Programming in Context
20. Beginning Python: From Novice

1. Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner, 3rd Edition
by Michael Dawson
Paperback: 464 Pages (2010-01-01)
list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$21.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1435455002
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
If you are new to programming with Python and are looking for a solid introduction, this is the book for you. Developed by computer science instructors, books in the "for the absolute beginner" series teach the principles of programming through simple game creation. You will acquire the skills that you need for practical Python programming applications and will learn how these skills can be put to use in real-world scenarios. Throughout the chapters, you will find code samples that illustrate concepts presented. At the end of each chapter, you will find a complete game that demonstrates the key ideas in the chapter, a summary of the chapter, and a set of challenges that tests your newfound knowledge. By the time you finish this book, you?ll be well versed in Python and be able to apply the basic programming principles you?ve learned to the next programming language you tackle. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (64)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book I've found
This book is the only programming book that didn't bore me to death!I've read 20-30 programming books and never made it through them.I always find it too much writing and not enough hands on.This book uses one program after another to show you how and why the code is written.

Every time I finished a section I really had a firm grasp on the concepts and was working the challenges at the end of the chapter with only minimal reference to the book.The programs are simple, fun, and perfect to teaching.The book is laid out well and you keep rushing through the chapters to get to the next section which is more advanced and more fun.I like that it includes GUIs and graphics.

I would disagree that this book is only for those without any Python.I knew a little and had written some scripts before I read it.The simple and structured approach is great.

Buy this book and you will have a solid foundation for expanding into the more advanced areas like graphics, networking, etc.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fine Choice for First Programming Book
I am a beginner with respect to programming, and do not have a particularly technical background:I know almost no math though I know formal logic pretty well.I was interested in learning something about computer programming just for fun and have looked through a number of books about a number of languages.I even spent some time with C before I decided on Python.To an absolute beginner, it seemed a relatively intuitive language without some of the messy detail required by C, for example, about memory allocation.I chose this book simply because it looked fun and very clear.Each chapter focuses on tools needed to create games.I do not have any interest at all in playing computer games of any kind, but it is a relatively painless way to learn Python.I also found the exercises at the end of each chapter very good.They are hard enough but not too hard.They generally required a fair amount of time and effort, but I was able to finally figure out all of them. This is important since I am doing this on my own.

The Cons:The book aims to be simple and brief, but sometimes it is too simple and brief.Yes I learned to get the computer to do this or that, but I did not fully get some of the concepts.In fact, I think the book moved on to fancy stuff like graphics before I got down all I needed of the basics such as file control.Perhaps someone who already knew something about programming would have had less trouble. For example, the material on writing to a file stored on the hard drive for future use was fine, as far as it went.But I realized, when trying to write a program of my own, that I did not understand a key point.If you have recorded some data to a file, and then want to revise that data, Python rewrites the entire file.Huh?What about my original data?It gets over written. There has to be a solution to this problem, but I did not find it in the book.After hours of work I devised a way to get the right result, but it was very messy and, when I posted a question on a Python forum, I found there was a simple way to do what I wanted.Maybe I am a bit thick, but I think this could have been directly covered in the book.There were several other topics that needed more discussion.

Still, keeping in mind that this book only goes so far, it is a very good introduction to Python.But if you are serious about learning Python, at some point, you are going to need one of those big fat and far more boring books.

4-0 out of 5 stars Best Intro To Programming Yet...
I work as a software tester and deal with programming constantly. I have a minimal understanding of programming and have written basic scripts in Perl, C#, and Ruby. Oddly, for the testing I do, I have come across a lot of tools written in Python. To utilize those I decided to try this book out. I have to say that if you are new to programming in any way this book is great. The author literally breaks down every line of every program you write and explains what each line does and how they interact. I have never seen that in any programming books I have seen. Normally there is that point in the book where the author makes a huge leap and I cannot seem to find how he/she got there from where we just were. That has not happened in this book yet.

I will update my post as soon as I have completed the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Easy
Wonderful easy to ready book. Just what you need to get started in Python. Great examples that actually work. Clearly explained for the beginner.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book to teach programming.
First, to correct some misconceptions:

The Python language environment is available for free at python dot org.To get the latest version, this is where to get it from.
It comes pre-installed on Mac's, and most versions of Linux.HOWEVER, this book (3rd edition) requests that you do the exercises in version 3.1.x.
The Mac, and most Linux machines come with version 2.5.x or 2.6.x right now.So you will want to download 3.1 even if Python is pre-installed on your machine.

Windows doesn't come with Python pre-installed, so just select the 3.1.x version for x86 computers.The installer is EXCELLENT.
I tested it on WinXP, Vista, Win7, Mac OS X, and Ubuntu Linux, and all are usable.
Note that with WIN and Mac, when you save a file, you must put the .py extension when saving.Linux does it for you.

The digital version exercises are hard to find.The book points you to the website, but not where they are on the site.One of the menu picks on the bottom of the screen will get you headed in the right direction.This is why I gave it 4 stars.Something like that should not be busted on a fairly new book.



I was a commercial programmer from 1977-1992.So I had some experience with programming and know several languages.My children are 10 and 12 with no programming exposure.I wanted to teach them programming since it is not offered at their school.I picked Python since it's a high-level language that supports OOP (object oriented prog) yet can be used without it.

From the first day, it had the kids begging for more, and Dad wasn't bored either.Yes, some of it is a bit (yawn) for me, but it was necessary for the kids to avoid confusion.The tasks use games as examples, which makes the lessons less tedious, if not outright fun.There are homework challenges at the end of each chapter, and working source code for the lesson tasks should you get lost.

Whether there is a better book, I cannot say.But I do know it's about as good of a textbook as they come in my experience.

If you are an experienced programmer, just make your tasks a bit harder, but do read every page.There is often a bit of humor, or a little insight that makes it worth the read. ... Read more

2. Learning Python: Powerful Object-Oriented Programming
by Mark Lutz
Paperback: 1216 Pages (2009-09-24)
list price: US$54.99 -- used & new: US$29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596158068
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Google and YouTube use Python because it's highly adaptable, easy to maintain, and allows for rapid development. If you want to write high-quality, efficient code that's easily integrated with other languages and tools, this hands-on book will help you be productive with Python quickly -- whether you're new to programming or just new to Python. It's an easy-to-follow self-paced tutorial, based on author and Python expert Mark Lutz's popular training course.

Each chapter contains a stand-alone lesson on a key component of the language, and includes a unique Test Your Knowledge section with practical exercises and quizzes, so you can practice new skills and test your understanding as you go. You'll find lots of annotated examples and illustrations to help you get started with Python 3.0.

  • Learn about Python's major built-in object types, such as numbers, lists, and dictionaries
  • Create and process objects using Python statements, and learn Python's general syntax model
  • Structure and reuse code using functions, Python's basic procedural tool
  • Learn about Python modules: packages of statements, functions, and other tools, organized into larger components
  • Discover Python's object-oriented programming tool for structuring code
  • Learn about the exception-handling model, and development tools for writing larger programs
  • Explore advanced Python tools including decorators, descriptors, metaclasses, and Unicode processing
Amazon.com Review
The authors of Learning Python show you enoughessentials of the Python scripting language to enable you to beginsolving problems right away, then reveal more powerful aspects of thelanguage one at a time. This approach is sure to appeal to programmersand system administrators who have urgent problems and a preferencefor learning by semi-guided experimentation.

First off, LearningPython shows the relationships among Python scripts and theirinterpreter (in a mostly platform-neutral way). Then, the authorsaddress the mechanics of the language itself, providing illustrationsof how Python conceives of numbers, strings, and other objects as wellas the operators you use to work with them. Dictionaries, lists,tuples, and other data structures specific to Python receive plenty ofattention including complete examples.

Authors Mark Lutz and DavidAscher build on that fundamental information in their discussions offunctions and modules, which evolve into coverage of namespaces,classes, and the object-oriented aspects of Pythonprogramming. There's also information on creating graphical userinterfaces (GUIs) for Python applications with Tkinter.

In additionto its careful expository prose, Learning Python includesexercises that both test your Python skills and help reveal moreelusive truths about the language. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (161)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not "LEARNING" Python; more like: REFERENCING Python
If you have any type of programming background (in my case, quite a lot of bash, awk, some perl, some java, a little of this and that in-between) and are looking for anything resembling a comprehensive tutorial on learning python, you'll find yourself quickly infuriated with this book. As a reference, it's pretty good. As "LEARNING PYTHON" it is incredibly inadequate... And God help the poor shmoe who tries to learn Python as their first language from this book. Here are the basic problems:

First of all, one does not learn how to program in a new language until you ACTUALLY start programming in said language. O'Reilly books generally take one of two approaches in this respect: Very hands on or very run-down-ish (for experienced programmers, the main features of the language are described in great detail that borders on comprehensive for the scope of an introductory text, and then end of chapter tests and exercises force you to employ this knowledge). Not only will it take dozens of hours (perhaps 4, maybe 2) of PURE UNADULTERATED READING (with more "more on this basic function of programming much, much later" which is a nice way to say: YOU STILL CAN'T USE ANYTHING I'VE TOLD YOU after a WEEK OF PURE READING), the vast majority of the first 300 pages is incomplete even as a reference. I mean, I understand the learning process, and how an author has to strike a careful balance between comprehensiveness of the material versus the skill level of the student, but EVERY SINGLE TEACHABLE MOMENT of the first 230 some odd pages is completely wasted, asking the reader to endure more (incomplete - because everything that would make anything familiar/usable to anyone with programming experience is always 400 pages away) basic gibberish. And it's not even COMPREHENSIVE GIBBERISH.

A book for beginners that's written in this fashion should either be comprehensive enough so that they can start coding with the information that they've learned, or be so obtuse as to deserve inclusion in the O'Reilly "In A Nutshell" series (which I have great respect for, btw). Regardless: it does not deserve the title of "Learning Python," as it fails to teach programming to either intermediate level programmers or beginners in any meaningful way; beware all ye who enter here with the goal of actually "learning python."

I don't HATE this book, but I don't like it at all; it lives in a distant bookshelf as a reference. Anyone who buys it hoping to 'LEARN PYTHON' will probably find themselves served better by google searches for freely available python documentation and tutorials. To that end, I have (charitably) given it 2 stars.

1-0 out of 5 stars Utterly verbose, not structured
I am completely disappointed by this book. It has no structure. In most of the cases writer starts a concept and left it in the middle stating that we will look this in next chapter. It creates confusion in the learners mind. Everything was repeated 4-5 times and there is not link between concepts.
I will not recommend this book to any one.

1-0 out of 5 stars An overly wordy and very narrow/arrogant view of programming
This book is twice is big as it needs to be. It seems the author wants to boast about how awesome he is at Python; quote "after teaching Python to roughly 225 groups and over 3000 students during the last 12 years blah blah blah". As a result, he goes on and on about how awesome Python is and how it can be used for everything.

The worst part however is that this arrogant narrow minded view of programming is limited to just Python. Meaning if you look in the index for the word "array" you can't find it????? Why, because in Python they're called lists! Seriously, how pathetic is that?

I once had a Visual Basic instructor who thought he was so awesome cause he knew VB. I remember mentioning the word "float" and the super confused look that came over his face. Why? Because in VB, floats are called singles.

So the point I'm trying to make here is, the world is much bigger than Python (or VB), and it's wrong to mislead new programmers into thinking that this is the one and only language they will ever need to know. Python serves its purpose, just as C++, assembly and PHP do, to name a few.

I did much better just going to online tutorials in Python, and I'm well on my way to using the worlds greatest programming language.

P.S. The review was written in Perl, invoked through a bash shell script :)

2-0 out of 5 stars Wordy, repetitive, disorganized, with at least one inexcusable error at teaching OOP
I don't understand why 5-star reviews have the highest number for this book.A lot of the 5-star reviews are one-liners that simply say "this book is great" without giving concrete reasons.

I want to echo other reviewers' comments that this book is wordy, repetitive, disorganized.That is so true when I tried to learn Python from this book.After hundreds of pages, one still can't write a small program with functions and control structure.That is simply ridiculous.

I thought my biggest problem with this book was its verbosity, but now i knew that the biggest problem is that it gives the impression of completeness in introducing OOP with the 200+ pages (longest of all introductory Python books), yet it manages to omit one important topic in OOP: the built-in super() function.

On page 654:


This is where the super() function can be first introduced to improve the hardcoded class name Person, like this:

super(Manager, self).giveRaise(...)

or like this in 3.x:


But the author did not mention it.

Again in page 659:


This is the second place where the super() function can be introduced to improve the hardcoded class name Person, like this:

super(Manager, self).__init__(...)

or like this in 3.x:


But the author again failed to introduce it.

In calling a method or the constructor of a superclass, this use of super(...) instead of hardcoding class name ("Person") is indisputably the correct way of using OOP in Python.After all, one benefit of OOP and a general principle of software design are not hardcoding things to avoid maintenance problems.

Yet, in the remaining 150+ pages of OOP coverage since page 659, there is absolutely no mention of this correct usage of super(), and the hardcoded Person.__init__(...) was left as the final, ultimate, "good" way of calling superclasses's constructor, in the opinion of the author.For example, in a later OOP chapter, Chapter 30 (page 739), the author continued to use hardcoded superclass name like Employee.__init__(...) to demonstrate how to call superclass constructors.At this point, his ignorance of the correct usage of super() is evident.

The author at the beginning of Chapter 27 said that he will teach beginner OOP programmers step by step how to actually code OOP correctly instead of just understanding OOP on paper, and he indeed gave an actual coding example using the Person and the Manager classes, from step1 through step7 to gradually improve it (from the bad way to the good way), but alas, he omits the super() usage in the end, which is the only good way.His attempt at teaching OOP clearly failed.

This is an inexcusable omission of OOP in a book that spends 200+ pages on OOP and covers more advanced OOP concepts than super().the super() built-in function was introduced in Python 2.x, and is later improved in 3.x.Its omission in this book really boggles me.

See how some other superior Python introductory books and reference books deal with super():

The Quick Python Book (Ceder): half page coverage, but better than nothing.
Programming Python 3 (Summerfield): super() used dozens of times in this code-filled book, and called out in index 7 times.
Beginning Python - From Novice to Professional (Hetland): super() clearly mentioned in 3 pages, and its history from 2.x old-style class to 2.x new-style class to 3.x super() is clearly mentioned too.The author also recommends the 3.x argument-less super() in a sidebox for good reasons.
Python Essential Reference (Beazley): super() appears in 3 places: code example in OOP chapters, built-in function reference section, and "what's new in 3.x" section.In the built-in function reference section, the with-argument version of super() is clearly explained.

3-0 out of 5 stars Too wordy and not enough exercises
Learning Python is written by an expert in Python training, and it shows.The author fully explains each language feature, pointing out common mistakes beginners make, and explaining the finer points repetitively. The author carefully details the inner workings of Python from the ground up, explaining in great detail how objects are combined to form expressions, which in turn form statements, which are packaged as functions in modules.

The problem with this approach is that it's only until part III of the book, at about page 300, that the reader finally has enough information to write useful programs. Worse, there are not enough programming exercises for the reader to practice all of the nuances that are explained so carefully again and again. The result is that it's hard to apply the theoretical knowledge about Python learned from the book into the practice of writing Python programs, and without writing code it is difficult to retain the information presented in the book.

The book should have fewer explanations and more exercises, because the experience of writing code will drive home a point more thoroughly than explaining it many times over. While reading the book, I started working on problems from Project Euler and the Python Challenge to help me solidify the knowledge I was tenuously grasping from just reading the numerous and tedious explanations. This practical programming experience helped, but I would have preferred the author to give exercises that were crafted specifically to clarify the subtleties of the book's explanations.

Perhaps the best aspect of the book is that it covers all the basics of Python as well as a few advanced topics. One of the problems with O'Reilly's books for beginning Perl programmers is that basic material is split over multiple volumes. Although this is not a cheap book, at least it covers enough material to be worth the cost. It covers all the basics of the language Python, although it does not cover commonly used libraries, such as the regular expression library.

This is a well written book with very clearly written and detailed explanations, and those who read it and do the exercises will be able to program in Python. I'm not sure how many of the explanations will be retained by readers who do not carefully put into practice the nuances of Python right after reading the book. ... Read more

3. Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science 2nd Edition
by John Zelle
Paperback: 528 Pages (2010-05-18)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$38.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590282418
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This is the second edition of John Zelle's Python Programming, updated for Python 3.This book is designed to be used as the primary textbook in a college-level first course in computing. It takes a fairly traditional approach, emphasizing problem solving, design, and programming as the core skills of computer science. However, these ideas are illustrated using a non-traditional language, namely Python.Although Python is used as the language, teaching Python is not the main point of this book. Rather, Python is used to illustrate fundamental principles of design and programming that apply in any language or computing environment. In some places, I have purposely avoided certain Python features and idioms that are not generally found in other languages. There are already many good books about Python on the market; this book is intended as an introduction to computing.Features include the following:*Extensive use of computer graphics.*Interesting examples.*Readable prose.*Flexible spiral coverage.*Just-in-time object coverage.*Extensive end-of-chapter problems. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars python programming
When I ordered the book I expected it to come a little worse then what was advertised because the price was so low. However, I was pleasantly suprized when I recieved the book and it was still in it's original srink-wrapped package.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and deep introduction to programming for the very first beginner

Zelle's "Python Programming" takes you smoothly and slowly through the art of programming and you also learn a little computer science. He uses a modern object oriented script language (Python) for this purpose: a surprisingly good choice for a first language. Python is clear and powerful and does not require you to learn bad habits too early.

If you are more advanced and just wanted to learn Python you will probably find the pace of Zelle way too slow. If you are the brilliant type you might want to read Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs - 2nd Edition (MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science). For all others I can fully recommend this Zelle's "Python Programming".

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book...
For my whole life I've been meaning to "get around" to programming.But online tutorials could not teach me anything useful, and the introductory texts I had acquired through the years all told me one thing: that I shouldn't bother.Zelle, though, has written an outstanding introductory text to not only Python but also programming.He emphasizes what many authors do not - that programming is as much a way of thinking as it is a set of languages.To program effectively, one must problem solve.It is an obvious point oft ignored by other authors.Zelle hammers it home.After studying his book for just one week, I was able to code my own set of non-trivial and useful programs with minimal reference to his book or to a guide elsewhere.

What I don't like is that Zelle's discussion of graphic design relies upon a module of his own design (graphics.py) and NOT a standardized toolkit that a user would benefit from learning.Zelle's logic is that toolkits can overwhelm the beginning programmer and that any introductory text must include heavy discussion of graphic design (because graphic design is what interests most people).So he must figure out a way - and he writes a very good module - to teach GUI design to beginners.While I see Zelle's point, it was frustrating to use a module that Zelle himself admitted wouldn't be of much use down the road.

Ultimately, though, I highly recommend this book for beginners, as it will teach you to think like a programmer, and understanding that thought process is more important than mastering the syntax of any language.

2-0 out of 5 stars not good for an introductory course in programming
I am a professor of computer science and specialize in teaching intro programming courses. I am currently considering several Python books for use in an introductory course with no prerequisite programming knowledge. I just read chapter 1 of this text and have already decided NOT to use it for my class.In chapter 1, the author manages to introduce machine code (never really explained), binary storage (never explained), the eval and input functions, for loops with "in" and mathematical chaos theory, all with little or no explanation and quite a few "we'll put this off until later" remarks, along with "this is complicated but don't worry if you don't understand it yet" statements.I can just imagine what my students would think of this.This book may be great for those who have *already* taken at least 1 programming course, or for graduate students who have a certain level of intellectual sophistication but don't know how to program yet, but for undergraduates in an intro course with no pre-reqs - there is no way I would subject my students to this level of confusion.There is a basic principle in teaching: before you can teach B, you must teach A to the level of understanding.

5-0 out of 5 stars Update to a classic
I teach high school computer science and greatly welcomed the new edition to this classic book.Zelle has written a book that manages to serve two purposes quite well: 1) a good introduction to computer science, and 2) a good introduction to Python.

Sure, you could say that it could be better in one way or another, but any changes would push it more towards one of those purposes, and not really serve the other.As it stands, I believe this is the best book available for a high school computer science class.Zelle teaches good programming and encourages students to learn a "software development process" that will serve students well as they further explore programming and computer science.The clarity of Python ("pseudocode that runs") allows Zelle to focus on a strong programming foundation that will allow students to move on to other languages, including Java--the current language for the AP Computer Science exam.

Zelle has updated his graphics library for this edition, and this book covers Python 3.x.His graphics library is a great supplement to any class teaching Python to beginning programmers, and there is a nice reference to it in this text.The library module is, as always, released under an open source license (GPL).

Highly recommended. ... Read more

4. Programming Python
by Mark Lutz
Paperback: 1600 Pages (2006-08-23)
list price: US$59.99
Isbn: 0596009259
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Already the industry standard for Python users, Programming Python from O'Reilly just got even better. This third edition has been updated to reflect current best practices and the abundance of changes introduced by the latest version of the language, Python 2.5.

Whether you're a novice or an advanced practitioner, you'll find this refreshed book more than lives up to its reputation. Programming Python, 3rd Edition, teaches you the right way to code. It explains Python language syntax and programming techniques in a clear and concise manner, with numerous examples that illustrate both correct usage and common idioms. By reading this comprehensive guide, you'll learn how to apply Python in real-world problem domains such as:

  • GUI programming
  • Internet scripting
  • Parallel processing
  • Database management
  • Networked applications

Programming Python, Third Edition covers each of these target domains gradually, beginning with in-depth discussions of core concepts and then progressing toward complete programs. Large examples do appear, but only after you've learned enough to understand their techniques and code.

Along the way, you'll also learn how to use the Python language in realistically scaled programs--concepts such as Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) and code reuse are recurring side themes throughout this text. If you're interested in Python programming, then this O'Reilly classic needs to be within arm's reach. The wealth of practical advice, snippets of code, and patterns of program design can all be put into use on a daily basis--making your life easier and more productive.

Reviews of the second edition:

"...about as comprehensive as any book can be."
--Dr. Dobb's Journal

"If the language had manuals, they would undoubtedly be the texts from O'Reilly...'Learning Python' and 'Programming Python' are definitive treatments."
--SD Times

... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid
Great book to ease your way into programming using command style OS's. Some of the info in this book will even carry over to Linux so its a great book to have for any geek like myself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great companion to the "Learning Python" book!
Get this book along along with "Learning Python" and you'll be set.Lots of handy stuff.My personal favorites are the sections that show you how to program GUIs and databases.I only wish I'd bought them both at the same time.

2-0 out of 5 stars rather terrible.
I don't think I've come across a bigger deterrent to learning more about python than this book (although "learning python" runs a close second) . It's very heavy on minutiae, and myopic when it comes to larger design issues. I've had mostly great luck with the O'reilly books, but really felt let down by the Python series. Wish I had an alternate recommendation on hand, but I've just started looking elsewhere.

1-0 out of 5 stars A total nightmare.
I bought this book assuming that it would be a good guide for python programming.

But I was wrong...

Right from the initial chapters, the author shows code that was not explained. And this trend just goes throughout this book.

A total disaster.

I really got discouraged and assumed that I wasn't up to it...

But then, I found an on-line tutorial [...] that gave me all I needed for python programming.

Python is an easy language to learn.

But not with this crazy book.

Bottom line, this book is totally useless for people who want to get a jump start. I mark it as a single star because it is totally irrelevant plus it knocks down a lot of trees (2 inches thick).

2-0 out of 5 stars pretty bad book
I'm new to python, not to programming. My programming skill level is beginner, I understand and use classes.

Anyway, I was very disappointed that this book did not come with a CD or at least a free copy online. They give you a 45(if my memory serves me right) day trial with Safari Books.

As other reviewers mentioned, it doesn't have a good index and it doesn't come with a CD, so it's hard to find info.

Also, the examples are horrible. I'm only on chapter 3 and most of the examples are going over my hand. The author will start out with a simple subject like StringIO and then dump it into a code that contains other info not yet covered. After having people explain to me what it does, both them and I fail to see the point of his example. It has no practical use.

He also keeps jumping from command line input code to IDE code.

So far, this book has been pretty boring, very unpractical and most of all hard to understand. I would definitely not recommend this book to beginners.
... Read more

5. Practical Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science Using Python (Pragmatic Programmers)
by Jennifer Campbell, Paul Gries, Jason Montojo, Greg Wilson
Paperback: 350 Pages (2009-05-01)
list price: US$32.95 -- used & new: US$20.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1934356271
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Computers are used in every part of science from ecology to particle physics.This introduction to computer science continually reinforces those ties by using real-world science problems as examples.Anyone who has taken a high school science class will be able to follow along as the book introduces the basics of programming, then goes on to show readers how to work with databases, download data from the web automatically, build graphical interfaces, and most importantly, how to think like a professional programmer.

Topics covered include:

Basic elements of programming from arithmetic to loops and if statements.

Using functions and modules to organize programs.

Using lists, sets, and dictionaries to organize data.

Designing algorithms systematically.

Debugging things when they go wrong.

Creating and querying databases.

Building graphical interfaces to make programs easier to use.

Object-oriented programming and programming patterns.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun
A refreshing approach to learning Python. The examples are thought provoking, instructional with real world applicability.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is the perfect foundation on which to build your Python programming skills
I entered a graduate program in computational linguistics with a linguistics background with no computer science or programming experience. All of my specialization courses use Python and, unfortunately, my university doesn't offer Python courses. Discovering that I wasn't all that wonderful at self-teaching myself to program, I resolved to take an introductory Java programming course offered by my university's computer science department. The course served as an excellent foundation and made this text, which I think is already very clear and accessible, that much easier to follow. My opinion is that this book would make an excellent text for an introductory course in Python programming or a wonderful resource to someone who knows a bit about programming but would like to understand Python. I had tried other Python books in the past, but found myself either lost or bored. The authors of this book know how to hold their audience's attention.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book for My Return to Programming
I had not programmed for 30 years and wanted to do a bit for a small project. After trying several Python books I found this one. I suspect that no one programming book will appeal to all, but this one was a great book to get me started again. Well-written. Good examples. Clear explanations.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine 'first timers' pick for any computer or general lending library
PRACTICAL PROGRAMMING: AN INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER SCIENCE USING PYTHON provides an invaluable guide to the basics of computer programming, allowing those with a bare-bones introduction to learn programming fundamentals, working with databases, downloading data, and more. From using functions to debugging systems and designing algorithms, this covers all the essentials and is a fine 'first timers' pick for any computer or general lending library.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Superior Introduction to Computer Science & Data Structures Using Python
As a result of superior pedagogy and a language that includes built in features like lists and dictionaries, and a standard library that comes with everything; this instructional book provides an introduction to Computer Science and Data Structures which excels using the modern programming language Python.This text is much more than a learn to program in "XXX" book, it gives a firm foundation for all subsequent courses in Computer Science and practical examples of how Data Structures are employed in real world problems involving graphics and databases.It also gives the necessary demonstrations of algorithms for Searching and Sorting, and a modern introduction to Object-Oriented programming.

In short, this volume provides an excellent foundation text in Computer Science, while incorporating instruction in the Python Language and giving practical examples of how to employ the Algorithms and Data Structures in real-world situations.It will give the student a strong basis for all further study in Computer Science and Programming. ... Read more

6. Programming in Python 3: A Complete Introduction to the Python Language (2nd Edition)
by Mark Summerfield
Paperback: 648 Pages (2009-11-22)
list price: US$44.99 -- used & new: US$25.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321680561
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

A Fully Revised Edition Featuring New Material on Coroutines, Debugging, Testing, Parsing, String Formatting, and More


Python 3 is the best version of the language yet: It is more powerful, convenient, consistent, and expressive than ever before. Now, leading Python programmer Mark Summerfield demonstrates how to write code that takes full advantage of Python 3's features and idioms. Programming in Python 3, Second Edition, brings together all the knowledge you need to write any program, use any standard or third-party Python 3 library, and create new library modules of your own.


Summerfield draws on his many years of Python experience to share deep insights into Python 3 development you won't find anywhere else. He begins by illuminating Python's "beautiful heart": the eight key elements of Python you need to write robust, high-performance programs. Building on these core elements, he introduces new topics designed to strengthen your practical expertise-one concept and hands-on example at a time. Coverage includes

  • Developing in Python using procedural, objectoriented, and functional programming paradigms
  • Creating custom packages and modules
  • Writing and reading binary, text, and XML files, including optional compression, random access, and text and XML parsing
  • Leveraging advanced data types, collections, control structures, and functions
  • Spreading program workloads across multiple processes and threads
  • Programming SQL databases and key--value DBM files
  • Debugging techniques-and using Test Driven Development to avoid bugs in the first place
  • Utilizing Python's regular expression mini-language and module
  • Parsing techniques, including how to use the third-party PyParsing and PLY modules
  • Building usable, efficient, GUI-based applications
  • Advanced programming techniques, including generators, function and class decorators, context managers, descriptors, abstract base classes, metaclasses, coroutines, and more


Programming in Python 3, Second Edition, serves as both tutorial and language reference. It assumes some prior programming experience, and is accompanied by extensive downloadable example code-all of it tested with Python 3 on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. This edition covers Python 3.0 and 3.1, and due to the Python language moratorium it is also valid for Python 3.2 which has the same language as Python 3.1. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars PutYour Seatbelt On
This is a great book that covers Python 3 in a very orderly and concise manner. Readers are quickly introduced to the power of the language in the first 2 chapters, then each of the topics are covered in a more in depth way later in the book.This, however, is why I gave it only 4 stars. These beginning chapters may feel intimidating to some as the may feel as though they have been dropped in the deep end of the pool.More complex concepts like short-circuit logic are given but a few lines of explanation where a more detailed analysis may be warranted.All that said, it is the book I chose as the text for the python course I teach at the college level. I have limited time to get the students up and running, and this book surely does that. It also is a good stand alone reference that many of my students have chosen to keep on their bookshelves rather than return to the bookstore at the end of the semester. In short, it is concise, fast-paced, and in depth - covering enough of the language that the reader can come out the end feeling like they have a fairly good grasp of the language, concepts, and "pythonic thinking."

4-0 out of 5 stars A Thorough Introduction to Python
Mark Summerfield's text: "Programming in Python 3" is a very good introduction to the Python programming language for people with prior programming experiance in another language. I came to Python from MatLab and prior to that, C and Fortan. So I'm pleased with the book and find myself refering back to it quite often. Having said that, this is not a "For Dummies" type book. Familiarity with with directory structure, file handling, and command prompt (console) operation is assumed.

The book covers all of the built in types and programming constructs of the Python language. It also introduces some of the useful (batteries included) standard library functinality along with details for working with modules and packages.

Finally, as I'm working my way into the middle of the book, I'm finding that it's a good introduction to object-oriented (OO) programming concepts and techniques in the clean syntax of the Python language. The OO concepts are not obfuscated by a language that is too criptic or too messy. Since this is about where I'm at on my own learning curve, the book is proving quite useful.

3-0 out of 5 stars I feel cheated...
I bought the 1st edition of this book about one year ago, and would give it 3 to 4 stars (it is too verbose for my taste). According to the review, this 2nd edition, which became available as soon as 1 year after the first one (and Python 3 specs haven't change in this period of time) is "A Fully Revised Edition Featuring New Material on Coroutines, Debugging, Testing, Parsing, String Formatting, and More". So, certainly the 1st edition I bought was the "draft" of the book which was probably thrown out to the shops due to marketing pressure. I feel cheated.

I'm NOT buying this 2nd edition (certainly the 3rd will arrive in a few months...). Instead I'll buy David Beazley's Python Essential Reference (4th Edition), whose 1st and 2nd editions I own have served me very well, and each edition lasts for 3 or 4 years.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fully revised to include new material on debugging, testing, string formatting and more
The second edition of Mark Summerfield's PROGRAMMING IN PYTHON 3 has been fully revised to include new material on debugging, testing, string formatting and more, and is a 'must' for any programmer's library strong in Python programming. From creating custom packages to writing and reading binary, text and XML files, this comes packed with keys to successful Python programming.
... Read more

7. Core Python Programming (2nd Edition)
by Wesley Chun
Paperback: 1136 Pages (2006-09-28)
list price: US$59.99 -- used & new: US$24.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0132269937
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Praise for Core Python Programming


"The long-awaited second edition of Wesley Chun's Core Python Programming proves to be well worth the wait—its deep and broad coverage and useful exercises will help readers learn and practice good Python."

—Alex Martelli, author of Python in a Nutshell and editor of Python Cookbook


"There has been lot of good buzz around Wesley Chun's Core Python Programming. It turns out that all the buzz is well earned. I think this is the best book currently available for learning Python. I would recommend Chun's book over Learning Python (O'Reilly), Programming Python (O'Reilly), or The Quick Python Book (Manning)."

—David Mertz, Ph.D., IBM DeveloperWorks®


"I have been doing a lot of research [on] Python for the past year and have seen a number of positive reviews of your book. The sentiment expressed confirms the opinion that Core Python Programming is now considered the standard introductory text."

—Richard Ozaki, Lockheed Martin


"Finally, a book good enough to be both a textbook and a reference on the Python language now exists."

—Michael Baxter, Linux Journal


"Very well written. It is the clearest, friendliest book I have come across yet for explaining Python, and putting it in a wider context. It does not presume a large amount of other experience. It does go into some important Python topics carefully and in depth. Unlike too many beginner books, it never condescends or tortures the reader with childish hide-and-seek prose games. [It] sticks to gaining a solid grasp of Python syntax and structure."

—http://python.org bookstore Web site


"[If ] I could only own one Python book, it would be Core Python Programming by Wesley Chun. This book manages to cover more topics in more depth than Learning Python but includes it all in one book that also more than adequately covers the core language. [If] you are in the market for just one book about Python, I recommend this book. You will enjoy reading it, including its wry programmer's wit. More importantly, you will learn Python. Even more importantly, you will find it invaluable in helping you in your day-to-day Python programming life. Well done, Mr. Chun!"

—Ron Stephens, Python Learning Foundation


"I think the best language for beginners is Python, without a doubt. My favorite book is Core Python Programming."

—s003apr, MP3Car.com Forums


"Personally, I really like Python. It's simple to learn, completely intuitive, amazingly flexible, and pretty darned fast. Python has only just started to claim mindshare in the Windows world, but look for it to start gaining lots of support as people discover it. To learn Python, I'd start with Core Python Programming by Wesley Chun."

—Bill Boswell, MCSE, Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine Online


"If you learn well from books, I suggest Core Python Programming. It is by far the best I've found. I'm a Python newbie as well and in three months time I've been able to implement Python in projects at work (automating MSOffice, SQL DB stuff, etc.)."

—ptonman, Dev Shed Forums


"Python is simply a beautiful language. It's easy to learn, it's cross-platform, and it works. It has achieved many of the technical goals that Java strives for. A one-sentence description of Python would be: 'All other languages appear to have evolved over time--but Python was designed.' And it was designed well. Unfortunately, there aren't a large number of books for Python. The best one I've run across so far is Core Python Programming."

—Chris Timmons, C. R. Timmons Consulting


"If you like the Prentice Hall Core series, another good full-blown treatment to consider would be Core Python Programming. It addresses in elaborate concrete detail many practical topics that get little, if any, coverage in other books."

—Mitchell L Model, MLM Consulting


"Core Python Programming is an amazingly easy read! The liberal use of examples helps clarify some of the more subtle points of the language. And the comparisons to languages with which I'm already familiar (C/C++/Java) get you programming in record speed."

—Michael Santos, Ph.D., Green Hills Software


The Complete Developer's Guide to Python
  • New to Python? The definitive guide to Python development for experienced programmers
  • Covers core language features thoroughly, including those found in the latest Python releases—learn more than just the syntax!
  • Learn advanced topics such as regular expressions, networking, multithreading, GUI, Web/CGI, and Python extensions
  • Includes brand-new material on databases, Internet clients, Java/Jython, and Microsoft Office, plus Python 2.6 and 3
  • Presents hundreds of code snippets, interactive examples, and practical exercises to strengthen your Python skills

Python is an agile, robust, expressive, fully object-oriented, extensible, and scalable programming language. It combines the power of compiled languages with the simplicity and rapid development of scripting languages. In Core Python Programming, Second Edition, leading Python developer and trainer Wesley Chun helps you learn Python quickly and comprehensively so that you can immediately succeed with any Python project.


Using practical code examples, Chun introduces all the fundamentals of Python programming: syntax, objects and memory management, data types, operators, files and I/O, functions, generators, error handling and exceptions, loops, iterators, functional programming, object-oriented programming and more. After you learn the core fundamentals of Python, he shows you what you can do with your new skills, delving into advanced topics, such as regular expressions, networking programming with sockets, multithreading, GUI development, Web/CGI programming and extending Python in C.


This edition reflects major enhancements in the Python 2.x series, including 2.6 and tips for migrating to 3. It contains new chapters on database and Internet client programming, plus coverage of many new topics, including new-style classes, Java and Jython, Microsoft Office (Win32 COM Client) programming, and much more.

  • Learn professional Python style, best practices, and good programming habits
  • Gain a deep understanding of Python's objects and memory model as well as its OOP features, including those found in Python's new-style classes
  • Build more effective Web, CGI, Internet, and network and other client/server applications
  • Learn how to develop your own GUI applications using Tkinter and other toolkits available for Python
  • Improve the performance of your Python applications by writing extensions in C and other languages, or enhance I/O-bound applications by using multithreading
  • Learn about Python's database API and how to use a variety of database systems with Python, including MySQL, Postgres, and SQLite
  • Features appendices on Python 2.6 & 3, including tips on migrating to the next generation! 

Core Python Programming delivers

  • Systematic, expert coverage of Python's core features
  • Powerful insights for developing complex applications
  • Easy-to-use tables and charts detailing Python modules, operators, functions, and methods
  • Dozens of professional-quality code examples, from quick snippets to full-fledged applications
... Read more

Customer Reviews (38)

1-0 out of 5 stars This book takes you nowhere...
As a UNIX/linux shell programmer for 20 years, this book took me nowhere... I'm not sure what the author had in mind, but it wasn't for python programming. That's for sure... The scam of writing "really bad books" has to stop. Next time I will not waste my money but check it out from my local library. I just made a calculation, and only 20% of programming books I have purchased are good. The remaining 80% (like this one) are plainly junk.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference for Python
Summary: Core Python Programming lives next to my keyboard.

Having been programming, in a scientific role, for a decade, I recently took up Python. This book was the text used with a short course on Python I took, and I can see why. As other reviewers have said, Python has excellent documentation; what the Python documentation usually lacks is both practical examples and an explanation of why. This book gives both of those things and in a very readable way. It's been the fastest and simplest way for me to get to grips with object-oriented concepts, and has been a great reference for most things I've needed to do.

Drawbacks: If you've never programmed before, this probably isn't for you - perhaps try Beginning Python: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition, which covers programming fundamentals while teaching you Python. For those with a little more background, I really like Dive Into Python 3 (free under a GNU license, so Google it). For experienced Python programmers, this perhaps doesn't have sufficient depth as it's not specialized in any one area. If you want to learn Python for basic data analysis and visualization (without a need/desire to do more), then go for Beginning Python Visualization: Crafting Visual Transformation Scripts (Books for Professionals by Professionals).

This really is a good CORE Python book. It's not really a beginner's guide, or a specialist text on any given niche topic. It's a great reference and that's it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Avoid this textbook pretender--ANNOYED
I purchased this book from a bricks and morter bookstore and after spending a frustrating week with it realized the the annoying habit of the author presenting a snippet of code and then coping-out when it came to adding anything that would make it possible to invoke the snippet (read, to make it ACTUALLY useful). He would announce that HE LEFT THAT EXERCISE FOR THE READER.
Either he has delusions of someone using this book as textbook (not a chance) or he is just too lazy.
I RETURNED THE BOOK, and by the way, I NEVER WRITE REVIEWS. That's how annoyed I was with this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is by far the best of the five Python books I have, and one of the best general programming books I've read.The book covers every aspect of Python, from basic syntax to regular expressions, object-oriented programming, database manipulation, GUI development, and Jython.The numerous examples are compact and emphasize the topic being presented.And Wesley Chun explains the philosophy behind Python and how to make programs more "Pythonesque."

3-0 out of 5 stars So-so
I bought this after reading its review on Slashdot, but I'm a little disappointed. Sometimes Chun just gives code with no explanation, and other times he glosses over examples of how to use things in favor of prose. I've also found some typos, perhaps the most amusing of which is his repeatedly calling Python creator Guido van Rossum "van Rossum Guido" in one part of the book.

I haven't read any other Python books, but even if this one really is a best-of-breed, IMHO it is just so-so.

Hence, I decided after about 400 pages to read other things instead. I got what I wanted out of it, after supplementing with a couple side projects to fill in the gaps with hands-on experience and the official docs. ... Read more

8. Python Essential Reference (4th Edition)
by David M. Beazley
Paperback: 717 Pages (2009-07-19)
list price: US$49.99 -- used & new: US$27.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0672329786
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
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 decorators
  • Expanded coverage of library modules related to concurrent programming including threads, subprocesses, and the new multiprocessing module
  • Up-to-the-minute coverage of how to use Python 2.6’s forward compatibility mode to evaluate code for Python 3 compatibility
  • Improved organization for even faster answers and better usability
  • Updates to reflect modern Python programming style and idioms
  • Updated and improved example code
  • Deep coverage of low-level system and networking library modules — including options not covered in the standard documentation


... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

2-0 out of 5 stars Well written, but not that good as a reference
David Beazley's book is quite good. If you want to round out your Python knowledge, this is an excellent book. The first 6 chapters are worth the price of admission. HOWEVER, if you want to keep something next to your desk so that you can quickly remember some idiom, forget it. You will lose your context more often than not.

Concrete examples:
- How do I reverse a string?
- How do I sort a list of strings by length?
- What's the Python equivalent of tr/// and can I see a quick example?
- How do I quickly initialize an list of 0's?

No, I'm not looking for a Python Cookbook. I find those fairly insipid. What I am looking for in an "Essential Reference" is something that will answer the most common questions very quickly. The book's index and examples are not up to this task.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Desktop Reference
I use Python every day, and this is the reference book that I keep on my desk. It has an excellent index, and I've found it very easy to track down information on whatever topic I'm inetersted in at the time. There are tons of examples, and the concepts are explained well.Every once in a while I'll just pop open to a random section and browse the text, and I almost always learn something useful about Python.Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for experienced programmers looking to learn Python
I like own a few Python books and this is one of my two favorites. Unlike the Mark Lutz book "Learning Python" which is massive and seemed a bit fluffy (honestly, i took it back the next day, i just couldn't do it) and physically massive. This book is a mere 600 (vs. over 1200 for "Learning Python") or so pages and after reading the first few chapters I knew it was a keeper. It covers both Python 2.x and 3 and tries to focus on writing code that is relatively compatible between the two. For a more beginners book or for those who like more tutorials,I recommend "Python from Notice to Professional".

4-0 out of 5 stars A great reference!
This book is a wonderful, and very thorough, reference to the Python Programming Language. It has a great deal of information contained therein, with good code examples and explanations so that it's easy to find what you need and put it to good use. It also manages to cover both Python 2 and Python 3 in the same text, which is VERY useful if you're migrating, or even if you're just curious about what differences exist between the two.

The only problem I have with this book is that a great deal of the content seems stripped, verbatim, from the Python Documentation ([...]). Code examples are the same, explanations and descriptions are the same... It's like the author copy-pasted from the python documentation, then glued it all together with a little insight and experience. Perhaps the author contributed to the Python Documentation website as well?

Despite this, the book is still an amazingly invaluable resource. Yes, almost all the information is available for free online. And yes, you can download a local copy of the Python Documentation from the website, for both Python 2 and Python 3, for free. However, in this book, you have a nigh complete reference of BOTH, including insights into each, all in an easy-to-use paperback form. (While I love e-books, they suck for programming. I'd prefer not to alt-tab between the reference and the code all the time.)

So if you don't want to spend money, go download the Python Documentation, it's free and contains pretty much everything the book talks about.

But if you don't mind paying, you'll find that this is a wonderful addition to your Python Programmer's bookshelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dive into Python for experienced programmers
If you use Python regularly for various tasks or plan to do so AND if you are an experienced developer, then this is the most valuable and useful Python tutorial + reference book. It is very practical but also goes into great depth for subjects such as optimization, profiling, how Python handles object oriented programming, creating C extensions, embedding Python into your application, packaging and distributing your Python code. ... Read more

9. Programming Python
by Mark Lutz
Paperback: 1632 Pages (2011-01-05)
list price: US$64.99 -- used & new: US$40.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596158106
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Once you've come to grips with the core Python language, learning how to build Python applications presents a far more interesting challenge. Tap this book's wealth of practical advice, snippets of code, and patterns of program design to take your Python skills to the next level.

You'll start with in-depth discussions of core concepts and then progress toward complete programs in different application domains, including:

  • GUI programming
  • Internet scripting
  • Parallel processing
  • Database management
  • Networked applications
  • System administration
  • Text processing

Most programming experts consider this classic book, now updated for Python 3.x, to be the industry standard for learning Python application programming. With clear and concise explanations of Python syntax and programming techniques, and numerous examples that illustrate both correct usage and common idioms, Programming Python shows you the right way to code with Python.

... Read more

10. A Primer on Scientific Programming with Python (Texts in Computational Science and Engineering)
by Hans Petter Langtangen
Hardcover: 693 Pages (2009-09-10)
list price: US$59.95 -- used & new: US$57.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3642024742
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

The book serves as a first introduction to computer programming of scientific applications, using the high-level Python language. The exposition is example- and problem-oriented, where the applications are taken from mathematics, numerical calculus, statistics, physics, biology, and finance. The book teaches "Matlab-style" and procedural programming as well as object-oriented programming. High school mathematics is a required background, and it is advantageous to study classical and numerical one-variable calculus in parallel with reading this book. Besides learning how to program computers, the reader will also learn how to solve mathematical problems, arising in various branches of science and engineering, with the aid of numerical methods and programming. By blending programming, mathematics and scientific applications, the book lays a solid foundation for practicing computational science.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful book for me.
I've always done scientific computing using Fortran but got curious and did some projects with Python.I learned Python using online references.Now as I read through this Primer I realize how many essential details I missed by gathering information randomly off the internet.This book presents material clearly and in a comprehensive and logical manner.

Note that the emphasis is on teaching Python rather than numerical methods.If your main focus is to learn techniques for scientific computing then you should look for a different book.

Python is a good language for learning to use object-oriented programming (OOP) and this book will make that easy.On the other hand, the author didn't quite convince me that this approach is useful for scientific programming (but OOP is clearly quite useful elsewhere).

Overall I found the book very helpful - highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good as a textbook, alright for self-study.
This book is a good textbook for when you have someone else, such as a teacher or a friend, helping you through learning Python, but in my personal experience, it is a little lacking for a student trying to learn Python basics through self-study. When I got this book, I was told by my professor to learn the basics, but this book isn't meant for that. This book is built towards making your own projects and programs through Python, so in my experience, it was a little lacking, but if you already know a bit of Python, though, this book is a great companion.

5-0 out of 5 stars excelent textbook
This is a textbook which origins come from a course in an university. On the
one hand, this makes the author to explain things absolutely obvious, clearly
oriented to students in the first years of their technical degree. On the
other hand, some of these explanations become handy if you have to teach this
material or even, sometimes, to learn the origins of something that you have
accepted as obvious without knowing exactly why is so. This is particularly
relevant in those parts dealing with mathematics (many in the book). The book
probably is of no use for an expert on SciPy/Numpy, but it is definitely useful for
people, like me, that is starting to discover the enormous capabilities of
these python language extensions. I clearly recommend this book for such
target users. The book is also excellently well written, with a clear and
concise style. Errors seem to be absent from the text and exercises are very
well targeted to the area of scientific computation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pleased
Fast shipping and the book was in great conditions, brand new!!
I'm really pleased with the purchase.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to numerical methids using Python.
Don't be fooled by the title or the first chapter, this book provides
a solid introduction for using Python in scientific applications.The
main application areas covered are calculating the value of functions,
both built in and user supplied, plotting data, finding the roots of
equations, difference equations, numerical differentiation, numerical
integrationand the solution to differential equations by numerical

Along the way you will learn how to use lists, tuples, dictionaries,
loops, list comprehension, lambda functions, Numpy arrays, file I/O
and Python Classes for programming scientific applications.Two
main highlights of the book are the thorough explanations the author
provides on how to use most of the features of Python and the copious
number of examples with answers. Other features are an example on how
to extract data from a Web Page and scitools.Scitools provides a
Matlab type of interface to gnuplot. About the only thing missing is
a summary on how to install Numpy, Scipy, Scitools, gunplot, and
gnuplot.py. ... Read more

11. The Quick Python Book, Second Edition
by Vern Ceder
Paperback: 400 Pages (2010-01-15)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$22.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 193518220X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

The Quick Python Book, Second Edition, is a clear, concise introduction to Python 3, aimed at programmers new to Python. This updated edition includes all the changes in Python 3, itself a significant shift from earlier versions of Python.

The book begins with basic but useful programs that teach the core features of syntax, control flow, and data structures. It then moves to larger applications involving code management, object-oriented programming, web development, and converting code from earlier versions of Python.

True to his audience of experienced developers, the author covers common programming language features concisely, while giving more detail to those features unique to Python.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best introductory guide to Python for programmers.
This is the *best* book to learn Python for professional programmers or people that already know how to program on a different language.

If you're interested in learning Python but want to quickly get up to speed not only on the language itself but its real essence, its elegant syntax and effective coding style, this is really the book for you. It has all the basic stuff without the "fluff". You don't have to put up with basic tutorials for non-programmers or super advanced topics for language experts, Just what you need to start effectively writing Python code that is up to the standards of the Python community.

This won't be your only Python book, but it definitely has to be your first!!!

On the last few chapters it'll scratch the surface of more advanced topics and effectively point you to a wealth of online resources, where you'd be able to learn more and thendecide if you want to continue on your own or pick a more advanced book focused on a specific topic.

It's a great book not only to learn the syntax and features, but grasp the "Zen" of Python which makes it such an elegant and "sexy" language.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book for learning Python 3
Having read the wordy and heavy Learning Python 4th edition, this book is a welcome change for programmers new to Python who want a gentle but quick learning experience.Python versions have changed significantly in the last couple of years, and it is good to have a fresh book published in 2010 and based on Python 3.1, the latest and recommended edition.At only a little over 300 pages, this book does not intend to cover advanced topics, but is sufficient to get one up to speed on Python.The greatest strength is the author's style of writing and clarify in conveying concepts in succinct wording and appropriate code examples.With this book, I found great explanation and code examples for the difference between shallow and deep copy on page 56, and for decorator function on page 113.The organization and sequence of content makes sense, and the content is technically correct, except for some sloppy factual errors that are easy to spot, which fortunately don't reduce the value of the book much.(For example, on page 93, the range(10000000) function generates a sequence of integers from 0 up to 9999999, not 10000000 as stated in the book.)The typesetting of Manning books is first-rate as usual.I definitely recommend this book as the first book for learning Python.4.5 stars out of 5 for the minor errors and the occasional lack of detailed explanation on a topic (such as the optparse module on page 132).

5-0 out of 5 stars Probably the best book on Python 3 currently available
"The Quick Python Book, Second Edition" is Vernon Ceder's reworking of the well-received volume "The Quick Python Book" by Daryl Harms and Kenneth McDonald. Ceder has removed a number of specialized chapters on COM, C & C++ extensions, JPython, HTMLgen & Zope and, more important, he has brought the text completely up to date, covering Python 3.1.

Most Python texts out there describe Python 2.x, so this book's main competition is: a) Mark Summerfield's "Programming in Python 3: A complete introduction to the Python Language, Second Edition", and b) Mark Pilgrim's "Dive into Python 3", while two other major books have incorporated material on Python 3, namely c) James Payne's "Beginning Python: Using Python 2.6 and Python 3.1" and d) Mark Lutz's "Learning Python: Powerful Object-Oriented Programming, 4th Edition".

The Good: this book is nice and short. It assumes a certain level of competence/background, so it does not waste space introducing the language-independent basics of flow control, object orientation, exception handling, and so on. It is example-based, and unlike in Pilgrim's volume the first few examples are short and thus readable. Chapter 3 ("The Quick Python overview") can be used as a compact reference when you're done reading the book, and various tables throughout the book help it function as a reference. Unlike its competition, it doesn't spend chapter upon chapter on databases, networking, or web applications. Instead, such topics are covered in only one (short) chapter at the end of the book. Ceder offers useful advice on the interrelation between older and newer Python features, whether discussing how to be more idiomatic (e.g. in chapter 6 on the format method vs % formatting, and in chapter 14 when introducing the "with" statement) or how to migrate from Python 2 to Python 3 (he devotes chapter 22 to this topic). On the publisher's website you can find a list of errata as well as the complete source code for the book. There you will see a link to an "Author online" forum in which you can interact with Ceder; perhaps more important, everyone who buys a paper copy of the book may also download a free PDF version. It is to be hoped that other publishers will follow Manning's example.

The Bad: the author is very clear that the book is aimed at those with experience in another programming language. Even so, in a few cases the assumptions are Python-specific (and hence unwarranted): one example is in chapter 5, where he lets us know that if x is a list then y=x[:] makes a copy of x, though this does not really explain why we cannot simply say y=x to accomplish the same goal. Another example: in chapter 12 Ceder uses character ranges expressed with [], though these are introduced much later (in chapter 17). Similarly, chapter 3 is quite good if you've already come into contact with Python before (even fleetingly). If you haven't, it may be obfuscating (though you could always just skip it on the first read). On a different note, this book does not contain exercises, though Summerfield's, Payne's, and Lutz's volumes do (along with answers). As mentioned in the previous paragraph, Ceder does not include too much extraneous stuff something which in my opinion is definitely a plus. However, he does not say absolutely anything on threading while Summerfield has a chapter on the subject and Payne a section. Similarly, Ceder does not mention function annotations at all, while Summerfield and Lutz each have a section on them. Finally, Ceder keeps referring the reader to the Python documentation for more details, and this can get frustrating. On the other hand, I suppose it would have been impossible for the book to stay at its current 320 pages otherwise.

Ceder's writing is concise, but this does not imply that he covers only the bare minimum of material. To pick a relatively advanced topic as an example, Ceder spends 2 pages on metaclasses, Summerfield 4.5 pages, Pilgrim and Payne devote half a page each only in the context of the changes from Python 2 to 3, while Lutz, in keeping with the mammoth size of his book, spends more than 30 pages on the topic. This (arbitrarily chosen) example is in some ways indicative of the wider approaches taken by the various Python 3 book authors.

In a nutshell, the fact that this book is considerably shorter than its competitors does not mean that it is shallow. The compactness is due partly to the author's succinct style of writing (which is not opaque, however) and partly to the fact that it does not contain too much on database programming, web services, and so on. All in all, if you're looking for a solid book on Python 3 that you stand a reasonable chance of reading cover-to-cover, then this is the volume you should buy.Four and a half stars.

Alex Gezerlis

5-0 out of 5 stars An Efficient and Excellent Introduction to Python 3 For The Experienced Programmer
Vernon Cedar, an experienced teacher of Python at the Canterbury School in Fort Wayne, Indiana and a vociferous proponent of the Python Language has done a superb job of updating an excellent text for the Python 3.0 Language and Programming Environment.Many texts slowly handhold a beginner to establish proficiency in their first programming language, others provide an exhaustive (and EXHAUSTING) reference for all the features of a language definition.This excellent and efficient text provides a rapid path to Python 3.0 proficiency for the programmer who has had exposure to at least one other modern programming language.
It gives a rapid overview of the basic language features and programming environment to access its integration with the operating system, graphics libraries, regular expressions and other needed tools, all of this while respecting the needs talents and time limitations of the experienced programmer.It provides the most efficient path to the current version of Python for a Professional Programmer or Experienced Amateur while avoiding unnecessary details and laborious tutorials directed at the neophyte.

I would recommend this book highly to anyone who like myself has had exposure to several programming languages and who wishes to rapidly come up to speed with this batteries-included latest programming environment.

--Ira Laefsky
MSE/MBA IT Consultant
Formerly Senior Consultant with Arthur D. Little and DIGITAL Equipment Corporation

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely Readable and USABLE Python Book
'The Quick Python Book' by Vernon L. Ceder is a delectable entrant into the Python reference world.I shouldn't say reference alone, because this book teaches you the fundamentals of Python in an elegant manner.Spread over 20+ chapters, the content is broken down logically and easy for the reader.One isn't stuck in the quagmire of a 1,400 page encyclopedia, nor relegated to 5 bloated chapters of dankness and drek.If you need a book that is going to teach you the fundamentals, this is an excellent resource.

Let's take a look at the TOC:

01. About Python
02. Starting Out
03. Overview
04. Basics
05. Lists, tuples, Sets
06. Strings
07. Dictionaries
08. Control flow
09. Functions
10. Modules and Scoping rules
11. Python programs
12. Filesystem
13. File I/O
14. Exceptions
15. Classes and OOP
16. GUI
17. Regular Expressions
18. Packages
19. Data Types as Objects
20. Advanced OO
21. Testing Code
22. Python 2 to Python 3
23. Using Python Libraries
24. Network, Web, Database Programming

People love Python for its ease of use and simplicity.This book embodies all of this.

***** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ... Read more

12. Rapid GUI Programming with Python and Qt (Prentice Hall Open Source Software Development)
by Mark Summerfield
Hardcover: 648 Pages (2007-10-28)
list price: US$54.99 -- used & new: US$38.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0132354187
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

The Insider's Best-Practice Guide to Rapid PyQt 4 GUI Development

Whether you're building GUI prototypes or full-fledged cross-platform GUI applications with native look-and-feel, PyQt 4 is your fastest, easiest, most powerful solution. Qt expert Mark Summerfield has written the definitive best-practice guide to PyQt 4 development.

With Rapid GUI Programming with Python and Qt you'll learn how to build efficient GUI applications that run on all major operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and many versions of Unix, using the same source code for all of them. Summerfield systematically introduces every core GUI development technique: from dialogs and windows to data handling; from events to printing; and more. Through the book's realistic examples you'll discover a completely new PyQt 4-based programming approach, as well as coverage of many new topics, from PyQt 4's rich text engine to advanced model/view and graphics/view programming. Every key concept is illuminated with realistic, downloadable examples—all tested on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux with Python 2.5, Qt 4.2, and PyQt 4.2, and on Windows and Linux with Qt 4.3 and PyQt 4.3.

Coverge includes

  • Python basics for every PyQt developer: data types, data structures, control structures, classes, modules, and more
  • Core PyQt GUI programming techniques: dialogs, main windows, and custom file formats
  • Using Qt Designer to design user interfaces, and to implement and test dialogs, events, the Clipboard, and drag-and-drop
  • Building custom widgets: Widget Style Sheets, composite widgets, subclassing, and more
  • Making the most of Qt 4.2's new graphics/view architecture
  • Connecting to databases, executing SQL queries, and using form and table views
  • Advanced model/view programming: custom views, generic delegates, and more
  • Implementing online help, internationalizing applications, and using PyQt's networking and multithreading facilities
... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Really Good Book (even if you are using Python 3)
What I like most about this book is that it weaves the theory of Python programming into the practice of writing efficient code. The author has gone to great lengths to keep the reader out of the forests and swamps of Python language features to focus her/him on writing interesting code. The learn-by-doing approach is a really good angle. I am studying this book with Python 3 (reason: the guys at Riverbank Computing (authors of PyQt) decided to support Python 3, I couldn't wait for wxPython to get here).

That said, the hurdle anyone who takes this path must go through is developing GUIs from a Python 3 perspective while referencing Python 2.x(warts and all), given that the book covers only Python 2.x code. That's not as hard as it seems since the author has taken the time to port all of the code examples to Python 3.x. Also, given the availability of excellent Python 3 references (like Python Essential Reference (4th Edition)) you'll be hopping and skipping pretty quickly.

If you are new to Python, don't hurt your brain. First study an introductory book on Python 3(like Programming in Python 3: A Complete Introduction to the Python Language (2nd Edition)). This should make you mentally stable enough to charge down this path without crashing into trees.

Everyone else, get the book as soon as you can and get busy. You won't regret it!

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a Great Book!
This is a great book and a huge time saver. The book takes the reader on a tour of PyQt4 widgets and how to use them. Equally important is all the high level advice on how to construct an application and which application level structures to use for what purpose. The downloaded source code is a godsend. I have used much of it for my own code templates. More than just a stock discussion of standard widgets, the book teaches shortcuts and things that come from years of experience. It would take years to learn all this material on your own and you would still likely miss things in the book.

I highly recommend this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well-articulated, consistently informative introduction to Python and Qt
I bought "Rapid GUI Programming with Python and Qt" (Summerfield) and "Programming Python" (Lutz) in order to help me write my first Python software application, a program whose development would require an understanding of Python, Qt, PyQt, and relational databases. I found Summerfield's book very useful.

The first few chapters brought me up to speed on Python itself. The chapters which dealt with PyQt were of course the most detailed and the most useful. I found myself getting frustrated with the "Dance of the Seven Veils": the book would touch on a topic briefly, explain how important it was, give an example, then hurry away to cover something else. By the time we got to the meaty, more thoroughly-explored examples, I was confused and slightly lost. Google filled in the gaps, so in the end it was all worth it.

In defense of this book's "A little bit of everything" style, I must point out that a toolkit of Qt's size and complexity cannot be covered thoroughly by a single text, in my opinion anyway. Summerfield took on an impossible task and did a good job.

All things considered, I think that Summerfield's book was worth the money. It rarely leaves my desk and never sits on my bookshelf. That's how useful it is to me.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best
This book explain in a few chapters explain more about python than other books that are entirely dedicated to python, and have EVERYTHING that you need to work with PyQt. The only negative thing: is for python < 3. But that's not realy a problem.

5-0 out of 5 stars best PyQt book
Good clear exposition of Qt as used with Python. Qt, a GUI toolkit, seems fairly easy to use (particularly with Python), but is quite large (as needed to provide various convenient features for a broad variety of GUI widgets): hence it's good that this book goes through the numerous features clearly and in detail.

As a bonus, the author assumes no prior knowledge of Python, and spends the first hundred pages on a swift Python tutorial. Of course one can't learn all of Python in a hundred pages, but the author covers the features needed to follow the rest of this book. Moreover, I think it's actually a good introduction to Python, which you will appreciate if either (a) you've used Python but are rusty and need some quick reminders, or (b) you've never used Python (but know another object-oriented language), in which case this should get you nicely started on Python.

Also I should mention that, when I had problems getting Qt and PyQt to install, the author wrote back instantly with useful information. Oh, yeah, I should warn you that, if you're installing on Mac, do not use Python 2.6 or later; PyQt currently has trouble with it. The combination I finally got to work was: Python 2.5.4; Qt 4.4.3; SIP 4.7.9; PyQt 4.4.4. (Of course this information will change over time. Refer to the author's website for updates.) ... Read more

13. Programming in Python 3: A Complete Introduction to the Python Language
by Mark Summerfield
Paperback: 552 Pages (2008-12-26)
list price: US$44.99 -- used & new: US$24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0137129297
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This edition has been superceded by the second edition! The two editions have mostly the same material, apart from corrections and a couple of new chapters in the second edition (which is why it is bigger). They are both around the same price, so the second edition is much better value. This first edition covers Python 3.0; the second edition covers both Python 3.0 and 3.1 (clearly marking the differences.) Keep in mind that 3.1 is the minimum 3.x edition that Python's developers recommend (3.0 won't even get security fixes). Also, thanks to the language moratorium, the Python 3.1 language will be unchanged in Python 3.2 (which will have bugfixes & improvements to the library & many other under the hood improvements of course), so the second edition is good for Python 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2.

Python 3 is the best version of the language yet: It is more powerful, convenient, consistent, and expressive than ever before. Now, Mark Summerfield demonstrates how to write code that takes full advantage of Python 3's features and idioms. The first book written from a completely "Python 3" viewpoint, Programming in Python 3 brings together all the knowledge you need to write any program, use any standard or third-party Python 3 library, and create new library modules of your own.


Summerfield draws on his many years of Python experience to share deep insights into Python 3 development you won't find anywhere else. This book's coverage includes


  • Developing in Python using procedural, object-oriented, and functional programming paradigms
  • Creating custom packages and modules
  • Writing and reading binary, text, and XML files, including optional compression, random access, and text and XML parsing
  • Leveraging advanced data types, collections, control structures, and functions
  • Spreading program workloads across multiple processes and threads
  • Programming SQL databases and key-value DBM files
  • Utilizing Python's regular expression mini-language and module
  • Building usable, efficient, GUI-based applications
  • Advanced programming techniques, including generators, function and class decorators, context managers, descriptors, abstract base classes, metaclasses, and more


Programming in Python 3 serves as both tutorial and language reference, with all the examples tested on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, and downloadable from the author's website. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars First impression: to the point
I'm only 100 pages into this book, and already know it is hands-down better than O'Reilly's Learning Python, which is verbose and pedantic.Imagine learning about modules as early as Chapter 5, p195 (this book) instead of Part V, Chapter 21, p529 (O'Reilly).Learning Python reads like a Ph.D. dissertation on Python's language design, which isn't helping someone who want to learn the language quickly and hit the ground running.I don't need to hear about "immutability" one thousand times before learning about functions and modules.

4-0 out of 5 stars Reference yes; Introduction no
As other reviewers have noted this book takes the same approach as Lutz (Learning Python). It does a much better job at providing a reference for Python development than it does at introducing Python programming to novices. As long as that is what you are looking for go for it.

Beginning Python (Norton) is better if you are looking for an introduction.

3-0 out of 5 stars Errors in Kindle Edition
The text and examples make this a very useful reference book. However, errors in the Kindle edition significantly decrease its value as a training tool.Each chapter contains 3 to 5 programming examples which Kindle conversionhas mangled badly.Errors vary from complete deletion of problems to truncation of the text of the the problems. The exact error varies depending on size of font chosen for display and where the problem appears on the page.As of this time,Amazon has spent over a month apologizing and has graciously offered to refund my purchase price.However, the errors remain.

If solving the chapter end exercises is an important reason for your buying the book, I wouldn't suggest making the purchase.If it is unimportant, then proceed confidently.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great tool for learning Python 3
Mark Summerfield's 2nd edition of "Programming in Python 3" is clear, concise, and comprehensable.Highly recommended for learning this powerful modern programming language.The programmer new to python will be empowered to write usable python scripts by the end of the first chapter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome
One of the better programming books I've purchased, and vastly better than those other books with animal drawings on the covers. This is a book for people that understand concepts but not the syntax or pitfalls of Python. It won't hold your hand or repeat itself try to dumb things down for you. It tells you what you want to know clearly and concisely and I highly recommend it. ... Read more

14. Python Cookbook
by Alex Martelli, Anna Ravenscroft, David Ascher
Paperback: 848 Pages (2005-03-18)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$32.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596007973
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Portable, powerful, and a breeze to use, Python is the popular open source object-oriented programming language used for both standalone programs and scripting applications.It is now being used by an increasing number of major organizations, including NASA and Google.

Updated for Python 2.4, The Python Cookbook, 2nd Edition offers a wealth of useful code for all Python programmers, not just advanced practitioners.Like its predecessor, the new edition provides solutions to problems that Python programmers face everyday.

It now includes over 200 recipes that range from simple tasks, such as working with dictionaries and list comprehensions, to complex tasks, such as monitoring a network and building a templating system. This revised version also includes new chapters on topics such as time, money, and metaprogramming.

Here's a list of additional topics covered:

  • Manipulating text
  • Searching and sorting
  • Working with files and the filesystem
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Dealing with threads and processes
  • System administration
  • Interacting with databases
  • Creating user interfaces
  • Network and web programming
  • Processing XML
  • Distributed programming
  • Debugging and testing
Another advantage of The Python Cookbook, 2nd Edition is its trio of authors--three well-known Python programming experts, who are highly visible on email lists and in newsgroups, and speak often at Python conferences.

With scores of practical examples and pertinent background information, The Python Cookbook, 2nd Edition is the one source you need if you're looking to build efficient, flexible, scalable, and well-integrated systems.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (44)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book for quick solution to a problem
This book is a very good source to use as a starting point for coming up with solutions to various problems.The recipes presented are concise and explained well.I consider this a good book for someone who is new to Python and trying to come up to speed on the language while still having to produce usable code at work.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book rocks!
This book rocks. 'Nuff said. Great examples, thought-out explanations, and lots of "Wow, I never knew Python could do that!" are a few of the good things you will get out of this book. Sure, you can get all of this on the Cookbook website, put having the dead trees in front of you to peruse is what will really do it for you.

3-0 out of 5 stars Out of date. Not very useful.
This book is in need of an update for Python 2.6/3.0 syntax. It covers the "new" Python 2.4.

I bought the book for a project in Python at work, but I never even consulted it once. YMMV.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very useful book to see how to best address everyday problems
This is not a learning book, nor a reference book.It is a book that contains "recipes", descriptions of how to perform everyday issues, such as reading a file, sorting a dictionary, etc.It is excellent for this.Buy in conjunction with "Learning Python" or "Python in a Nutshell".

2-0 out of 5 stars Go to the website
I bought this book when Python was relatively young and it definitely got the job done on more than a few occasions.The language (and the book) has evolved and some of the recipes are a bit outdated.If you look up Python Cookbook recipes on Google or some other search engine, it will take you to the ActiveState site that has all of these recipes and more.Two stars because the book is valuable in that it is concise - searching through a slew of recipes on a site can be a bit of a chore. ... Read more

15. Guide to Programming with Python (Book & CD Rom)
by Michael Dawson
Paperback: 480 Pages (2007-03-13)
list price: US$104.95 -- used & new: US$71.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1423901126
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Python Programming is unique and fun because of its approach: the reader learns to program through writing game programs. While it's enjoyable and engaging, the book covers plenty of fundamental computer science concepts and vocabulary. Topics include variables, memory, branching, loops, data structures, functions, file handling, exceptions, object-oriented programming, GUI programming, multimedia programming, and program planning. Even with all the power it offers to industry, Python is perfect for beginners. It has clear, simple syntax and is robust yet concise. Python Programming is the most fun way to learn the basics of programming using an easy-to-learn but powerful industry-standard programming language. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent way to learn programming and Python
I teach a sophomore-level introduction to computer programming class using this textbook at a major university.I reviewed many alternatives and while there are other books that may be a little bit better from a theoretical computer science perspective, I decided in favor of this book partly because it provided a much more gradual ramp up than most programming textbooks and especially because it couched everything in terms of games, which hopefully keeps things just that little bit more fun and interesting for the students.Even the traditional "Hello World!" program is replaced by a "Game Over!" program, and the author is that dedicated to the premise of keeping it game-oriented and entertaining throughout.And along the way you really do learn quite a bit about programming, both procedural and object-oriented.I can highly recommend this for budding programmers.

One note of caution, on two different fronts...As another reviewer has observed, there is another book by the same author, called "Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner", that has almost exactly the same contents as this one, and is much cheaper.If you are considering buying this book for your own personal use, the other reviewer's suggestion to purchase that book instead and save yourself some money is spot on.HOWEVER, if you are making this purchase to satisfy a textbook requirement for a university course, that other book probably will not do.Unfortunately, there are some differences in the end-of-chapter "projects" that will more than likely be used by your professor as class assignments, and if you get the other book you won't have the right assignments to work on and turn in.So if this is to be your textbook for a college class, you probably have to purchase this more expensive edition.At least Amazon offers this at a substantially lower price than most college bookstores.

Note to other educators:The reason I rated the book with 4 stars instead of 5 is that there are quite a number of errors in the supplemental teaching materials.I've found something like a dozen incorrect answers in the generated quizzes, and the author's edited version of LiveWires has a bug in its games.py module that causes a crash if you use a Sprite object's lower() method.(The second argument to Screen's _lower() method should be "it", not "object".)

2-0 out of 5 stars Last two important chapters of otherwise decent book are unusable
Michael Dawson's text was required for a course I took.Overall the book was useful, as the explanations are clear and there are plenty of code examples and problems that exercise the concepts. However, the book will annoy those have previous programming experience, as it assumes no knowledge of any other language and explains what for-next, while, et cetera are. I find the elementary approach surprising given that the author has another text on Python that appears more geared towards beginners.

What really annoys me, though, is that Chapters 11 and 12 about games are essentially unusable.The code examples in Chapters 11 and 12 are based on an author-modified version of the LiveWires package that is included with the book. That's fine except that the mods are based on an obsolete version of LiveWires, and there appears to be no download site with a newer version of the author's package.That means that in order to learn useful information from Chapters 11 and 12, the student must commit indefinitely to an obsolete version of LiveWires! The lack of a download site is unacceptable and infuriating in this day and age.Chapters 11 and 12 might as well not be included with the book, which is ridiculous as so much of Python development is game-related.

3-0 out of 5 stars Careful buying this.
While I won't deny this is the best book out there to teach someone Python, it is pretty much Word for Word the same book as Python for the Absolute Beginner (which is by the same author).This version is packaged as an academic book, and costs 4 times as much!
I love the author for this book, but the publisher should be shot.
Go pick up the absolute beginner version and saves yourself $60.

If it hadn't been the same book, I would happily given it 5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars A new kind of approach to teaching programming
Most programming books seem pretty drab, in that they teach by laying out the fundamentals, and rely on the reader to see how everything fits together. This book is nice because it takes the approach of starting with a practical need (in this case, game programming), and showing how to evolve toward an understanding of a programming language (in this case, Python) through the development of small games. Time will tell how well this method works in the big scheme of things, but I found it to be a nice alternative introduction to programming. It also has review questions and projects and the end of the chapters to further enhance the teaching value of the book. All in all, a decent little book. ... Read more

16. An Introduction to Python
by Guido van Rossum
Paperback: 164 Pages (2003-04-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0954161769
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

This manual provides an introduction to Python, an easy to learn object-oriented programming language.

Python combines power with clear syntax. It has modules, classes, exceptions, very high level data types, and dynamic typing. Python can link directly to libraries written in C or C++ and can be embedded as an extension language for applications that need a programmable interface.

Python is free software. It can be used with GNU (GNU/Linux), Unix, Microsoft Windows and many other systems.

This is a printed copy of the official Python tutorial from the Python 2.5 distribution (updated November 2006). For each copy sold $1 is donated to the Python Software Foundation by the publisher. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Printed Version of Online Tutorial
This book is literally the printed version of the online Python introduction from Guido.If (like me) there's comfort to learning Python on paper, this is a good investment.It now holds my notes as well as the text.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Concise Introduction
I see this this book as being to Python what K&R is to C.A terse yet useful overview of the basics of the programming language by the creator of the language itself.I personally found the writing to be a little dry, but the short chapters made it more than tolerable.I think it's a great book as a first read to get started in the language, but don't expect to be writing any sophisticated code based on the content of this book alone, as it really is just an introduction to the language.It will definitely leave you wanting for more information (though I mean that in a good way...).

As a bonus, the purchase of this book also helps to support the Python Software Foundation that continues to evolve the Python language.

5-0 out of 5 stars Written by the creator
You can't beat it for insight into the language. It's a little dry but it's the best primer I have seen on Python.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Concise Introduction to Python
This is the most concise, yet thorough, description of Python I have found among a half-dozen of the most highly-rated books about Python.It is thorough, yet to the point.It covers aspects of Python not found in any of the other books (I found the online version of this book by searching for such a topic, but wanted the physical book).Guido van Rossum is the author of the Python Language, so he is the definitive source for information about Python; and his books are very readable.

This book is very readable for anyone who is experienced in another language.Although Python itself may be a good first language, this book is a bit too concise for someone learning a programming language for the first time.For such a person, I would recommend "The Quick Python Book" by Harms and McDonald ("Dive Into Python" by Pilgrim and "Core Python Programming" by Chun are also good).

5-0 out of 5 stars An Introduction to Python
Good book for a beginner like me. Recently updated for python 2.5. I like the author's style and also because he offers the book for free on the web. I wanted to support the author for all of his hard work. ... Read more

17. Foundations of Python Network Programming
by John Goerzen
Paperback: 512 Pages (2004-08-17)
list price: US$44.99 -- used & new: US$24.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590593715
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This may be the easiest book review I've ever written. If you program in Python and you want to write Internet applications, go buy Foundations of Python Network Programming by John Goerzen. There.I've already folded down the corners of quite a few pages, and expect I'll refer to this book often in the coming months.

&#8212; Greg Wilson, Dr.I think Apress is bringing a lot of helpful programming texts to the world. I intend to read this book to learn how to write client-server networking programs.As is typical of Apress books, there are a lot of specific code examples to help the reader see exactly how it should be done.This book is 99% good, and the only reason that isn't 100% is due to the wide scope of the book. Which, then again, is also a good thing.

To guide readers through the new scripting language, Python, this book discusses every aspect of client and server programming.And as Python begins to replace Perl as a favorite programming language,this book will benefit scripters and serious application developers who want a feature-rich, yet simple language, for deploying their products.

The text explains multitasking network servers using several models, includingforking, threading, and non-blocking sockets. Furthermore, the extensive examples demonstrate important concepts and practices, and provide a cadre of fully-functioning stand alone programs. Readers may even use the provided examples as building blocks to create their own software. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, Highly Recommended For Any Python Programming
This is definitely a must have for anyone doing Python (Network) programming.

The 175 included working applications make it so easy to implement and actually use the code.
John's knowledge of the topic is deep (Advanced Linux Programmer and author) and he is very good at writing on advanced topics while still keeping them easy to understand.

So many clean, elegant code examples with just enough explanation:
Avoiding Deadlock,
Forking & Locking
Understanding Init,
Database Clients,
Understanding SSL In Python,
CGI & Mod_Python
Advanced Network Operations (Half open sockets, Timeouts, Understanding Byte Order, etc.)

4-0 out of 5 stars Helpful for thisbeginner
I have no background with Python and limited understanding of networking. So my comments are from a rookie. So here they are:

1) Readable: technical enough but gets right to implementable examples. You can jump around in the book and find what you need with out having to read the whole thing.
2) Applicable: I used examples from the book to gain an understanding of my Linux system and my home network.
3) Python is free so use it.

That is all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting book
I'm giving this book 5 stars because I found it more useful than many books.There are some flaws, but overall I am happy that I own this book.

This book uses a teach by example technique as discussed in other chapters.It is oriented towards application developers that find themselves in need of python networking rather than networking people that need python.

The book is overall clearly written and the examples are generally interesting.The author shows an advanced understanding of most of the subject matter.Chapter strength is fairly variant.On the other hand, it's pretty likely that you do not have knowledge of all the topics in this book and will learn something interesting by reading it.

Cons:The chapter on HTML tag matching felt really weak.They tried to treat HTML as a regular language by using state machines to match it, when it's clearly context-free, then he started to add a stack but he had already lost my interest as the examples got fairly unwieldy.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Book
It has everything you need to know about Networking Programming in Python. Easy to understand also. It can be made more detail and more advance for profesional use.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Gem of a Book (with minor flaws)
This is a well presented, well paced introduction to network programming in Python. He presents programs both as interactive sessions (follow along in the comfort of home) and as scripts (programs) available to download from his web site at Apress.

It serves as a good, general purpose, introduction to network programming as wall as a Python-specific network programming tutorial.

I do, however, have some complaints.Although the author attempts to present information in a platform-neutral manner, it is obvious that he is much more familiar with *nixes than with Windows.There are several minor factual errors in the Windows information he presents. [I have submitted these as error reports on the Apress web site.]

Fortunately none of these disrupt the actual presentation.Experienced Windows programmers will be able to correct the mistakes on-the fly.As a minor example, Windows programmers know they can type "script.py" to run a python program even though Windows doesn't honor the #! line at the beginning of the script.

My other complaint has to do with the use of PyDNS to discuss DNS issues. As far as I can tell PyDNS is dead, or at least it is dying. dnspython would have been a much better choice. However given that the book is three years old, I can't really fault the author for picking the wrong package -- it's happened to all of us at some point in our careers.

And a truly minor quibble:he starts with an example of downloading a file using the gopher protocol.Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a gopher server now days
... Read more

18. Python
by Chris Fehily
Paperback: 440 Pages (2001-11-05)
list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$6.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0201748843
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
UntitledNamed after the Monty Python comedy troupe, Python is an interpreted, open-source, object-oriented programming language. It's also free and runs portably on Windows, Mac OS, Unix, and other operating systems. Python can be used for all manner of programming tasks, from CGI scripts to full-fledged applications. It is gaining popularity among programmers in part because it is easier to read (and hence, debug) than most other programming languages, and it's generally simpler to install, learn, and use. Its line structure forces consistent indentation. Its syntax and semantics make it suitable for simple scripts and large programs. Its flexible data structures and dynamic typing allow you to get a lot done in a few lines. To learn it, you'll need is some basic programming experience and a copy of Python: Visual QuickStart Guide.

In patented Visual QuickStart Guide fashion, the book doesn't just tell you how to use Python to develop applications, it shows you, breaking Python into easy-to-digest, step-by-step tasks and providing example code. Python: Visual QuickStart Guide emphasizes the core language and libraries, which are the building blocks for programs. Author Chris Fehily starts with the basics -expressions, statements, numbers, strings - then moves on to lists, dictionaries, functions, and modules before wrapping things up with straightforward discussions of exceptions and classes. Some additional topics covered include:- Object-oriented programming- Working in multiple operating systems- Structuring large programs- Comparing Python to C, Perl, and Java- Handling errors gracefully.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Emblematic of the way Python operates
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. When I work in Python it is always close at hand. It was my original introduction to Python and remains my primary reference.

There is strong synergy between Python itself and the layout and structure of the book - the visual examples are emblematic of the way Python was conceived and operates.

There have been some developments in Python since the first edition and for these I recommend Hetland's book, which complements this one nicely.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear, smart and simple - A brilliant book
I've always wanted to be able to fully master a programming language, but have found it hard to learn an entire language. Things either got too advanced too early, or I simply lost motivation half way through the book. Python seemed interesting being platform independent and suitable for many different tasks like console, gui, web, game programming and so on.

Maybe there are good tutorials out there, but none of them really got me going. What I needed was a book, and I wanted nothing but the "best". The best book for me isn't necessarily the best one for you.

After spending a few days doing research and comparing many different books, I ended up with Python (Visual QuickStart Guide), and I couldn't have been more happy. This shows that there are actually other alternatives to OReilly books, and for me right now, this book is far superior.

I wanted a book I could read from A-Z, learning all the basics and still being able to complete the book without loosing motivation - 400 pages are doable.

Never have I seen a better layout in any book. It's so clear that I feel sorry for all the people reading other Python books. It's well organized and works fine as a reference. The book contains many small code examples instead of those long neverending ones that takes half a day to type in. Everything is explained as simple and easy as it can get. The author doesn't have many real world examples, but do mention where and how various things can be used for a particular task. I don't really care much about the price and would have bought this book even if it was $50. Anyway, the book is very cheap compared to others.


01. Getting started
02. Expressions and statements
03. Working with numbers
04. Working with strings
05. Working with lists and tuples
06. Working with dictionaries
07. Control flow statements
08. Functions
09. Modules
10. Files
11. Exceptions
12. Classes

The book doesn't teach you anything else than the core of python. No GUI, no network programming or other fancy stuff. What it gives you is an easy way to master the basics of Python. From there on the world is open and you can dig into whatever subject you may find interesting.

Good luck!

2-0 out of 5 stars Beware: Now an on-demand reprint
Amazon doesn't allow us to rate the quality of an author's work separately from the publisher's presentation. That's unfortunate, because as an introductory guide to Python this is quite a good work.

Unfortunately, as of 3/07, it's also being published by Peachpit Press as an "on-demand reprint". There is nothing in the Amazon product description to tell you about this change, and indeed I'm not sure Amazon has any way of knowing about it. If you bought this book in a bookstore you'd see the "on-demand reprint" icon on the front cover, but Peachpit Press should have changed the description on Amazon. This reflects poorly on Peachpit, a company I've previously had respect for.

Peachpit's "on-demand reprint" technology is crude. The book resembled the sort of high-quality bound photocopies I used to see sold for $1-$2 in "third world" bookstores twenty years ago. It is entirely gray scale (black and white?) with blurry screen shots and irregular contrast.

The effect is quite annoying. It doesn't make the book worthless by any means, but it hurts. The cover price is $22, $14 is probably a fair sale price IF you know that you're getting an "on-demand reprint". If you can get a used copy you might do better, but of course you might end up with a used "on-demand reprint".

Of course, if you read this you now know what you're getting, and you can make an informed decision without any surprises. Which is as it should be.

4-0 out of 5 stars Brevity is the soul of wit, and utility in this case,
This review paraphrases and expands on a review I posted on Slashdot.

As a small and simple tutorial guide I've enjoyed this book.

Most of the examples are for the command line. This will encourage you to experiment and play. Creative play is where good programmers come from. It's not going to teach you how to write a big app or become a graphics wizard. It's certainly not suitable as your only reference book. It will give you an excellent introduction to the language in simple prose. It's small, lightweight, inexpensive and brief. It'll get you started, and you'll occasionally go back to it when you want a simple understandable explanation of a concept. I've bought some other tomes that weigh 10 times as much, cost 3 times more and came with a CD, that aren't as useful. I like it and still refer back to it on occasion, maybe it'll help you. I suspect it would be ideal for anyone who has trouble with english; since almost every mini-lesson takes about 1 page and carries a very brief commentary, very little translation would be needed compared to most books.

I work in IT where the constant attitude that "O'Reilly books are always good, that's always what you should get" is starting to put a sour taste in my mouth.This book is an excellent example of an alternative to the exhaustive but exhausting O'Reilly style.Experienced working programmers may find it moves too slowly for them but for beginning to intermediate readers this book is a pleasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Justifies the title
This book lives up to it's promise of being a visual quickstart guide. The concepts are explained clearly with tons of examples - in fact, there are very few pages that don't have examples. The 'Tips' sections are pretty useful. The book is also tastefully laid out and the publishers have stuffed the pages with just the right amount of information.If you are a programmer trying to come up to speed on Python over a weekend, then this is the book for you. Folks who send lot of time in airports or trains might also want to consider this book. Diligently reading this book and trying the examples, should give the reader a solid foundation in Python basics. The author has done an amazing job. ... Read more

19. Python Programming in Context
by Bradley Miller, PhD, David Ranum
Paperback: 492 Pages (2008-09-05)
list price: US$99.95 -- used & new: US$48.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0763746029
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
With NEW Python 3.0!A user-friendly, object-oriented language, Python is quickly becoming the favorite introductory programming language among students and instructors. Many find Python to be a more lucid language than Java but with much of the functionality and therefore the ideal first language for those entering the world of Computer Science. Python Programming in Context is a clear, accessible introduction to the fundamental programming and problem solving concepts necessary for students at this level. The authors carefully build upon the many important computer science concepts and problem solving techniques throughout the text and offer relevant, real-world examples and exercises to reinforce key material. Programming skills throughout the text are linked to applied areas such as Image Processing, Cryptography, Astronomy, Music, the Internet, and Bioinformatics, giving students a well rounded look of its capabilities. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars cursory, abstract, and somewhat irrelevant
Had to purchase this book for an introductory class on Python.

This book does a less than stellar job of introducing Python concepts.It takes the approach of encouraging learning by doing, but the examples are at once too detailed and too broad... while it walks you through the examples, the examples themselves seem arbitrary and overly complex for an introduction.While still learning about loop iteration, for example, you are thrown into complex data analysis, while still perhaps grasping at the fundamentals of the language and struggling to parse many lines of code.

Exercises are provided periodically in each chapter, but they are often vague busywork.The great challenge in these exercises is not so much in completing the exercises per se, but just figuring out what the exercise wants you to do.Sometimes the exercises are easy, but sometimes they are overly difficult and too complex for the payout received.This makes budgeting your homework time all but impossible.

In the abstract, the examples in the book presumably provide a decent overview of computer scientific concepts.The book covers a lot of ground.Although I get the intent here, to open students' minds with broad exposure, it's like getting hit over the head with theory.I don't come from a mathematics background, for example, and this proved a serious detriment in this book, as the authors evidently expect everyone in an introductory course to have a firm grasp of mathematical concepts.Thus, the book glosses over issues which stopped me in my tracks, while spending a lot of time on things which I found pointedly dull and irrelevant.

While source code for the book is available online, often the datasets used in the examples is not... thus, sometimes you are able to complete exercises by manually typing the datasets from the book (an aggravating process), while sometimes (like in chapter 7), the source datasets are completely unavailable.In these latter cases, who knows what you're expected to do.

All in all, I found this book very frustrating for a beginning python text.

5-0 out of 5 stars very good
Received this textbook quickly and it was in excellent condition.I have no complaints.

3-0 out of 5 stars An ok reference text
This book can provide a basic understanding of Python. As with most books of this type there are errors and lack of clarity due to versions of the software used. One of the frustrating bits is that there are some examples that shown that require specific modules to be installed and no mention is made that a typical user would have to perform those tasks. This happens in Chapter 1 when a novice user would not realize that type of issue.

3-0 out of 5 stars quick overview to what is inside
This book is written for Python 3.0. But as you might know 3.0 isn't the "recommended" version. I'm using 2.5.x yet I can follow codes in this book line by line and it'll still work (except in finger countable cases). So that isn't that big of an issue.

The book goes into details like background information or just a quick description of what's going on. My instructor says not many programming books bother with details.

Additionally this book quite easy to follow. All codes in the books are boxed in, indented properly, and if python shell is being used it is indicated so. In chapters where the books describes "methods", they provide us with nice tables listing all "methods" learned in the chapter, code to use it, and an explanation on what it does. They do similar tables for other stuff like "modifiers".

My favorite thing possibly is what they did with exercises. Exercises follow up after each sections in a chapter. This allows me to work on each sections at a time. Furthermore, at the end of the chapter, they provide with a quick "Summary", list of "Key Terms", "Python keywords", "Bibliography", and "Programming Exercises" that involves everything in the chapter!

The book is also a walkthrough cTurtle. cTurtle is a drawing module for Python; you can download it for free from their website. I personally skipped part involving cTurtle but I suppose it is worth mentioning in the review as cTurtle consumes a good deal of the book.

P.S. the book has some weird (or maybe it is funny) chapter titles as "Your Father Was a Rectangle", "Bears, Fish, and Plants, Oh My!

Jan 2010 edit: I'm looking at some other book, and this book is outrageously expensive compared to the rest. It has ~ 500 pages and is worth ~ 100 $ i.e. 1 dollar per 5 pages. If you're trying to pick-up a self-study book, get a far come comprehensive book for a cheaper prince, like [Learning Python (Animal Guide). ... Read more

20. Beginning Python: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition
by Magnus Lie Hetland
Paperback: 688 Pages (2008-09-08)
list price: US$44.99 -- used & new: US$28.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590599829
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Gain a fundamental understanding of Python’s syntax and features with the second edition of Beginning Python, an up–to–date introduction and practical reference. Covering a wide array of Python–related programming topics, including addressing language internals, database integration, network programming, and web services, you’ll be guided by sound development principles. Ten accompanying projects will ensure you can get your hands dirty in no time.

Updated to reflect the latest in Python programming paradigms and several of the most crucial features found in the forthcoming Python 3.0 (otherwise known as Python 3000), advanced topics, such as extending Python and packaging/distributing Python applications, are also covered.

What you’ll learn

  • Become a proficient Python programmer by following along with a friendly, practical guide to the language’s key features.
  • Write code faster by learning how to take advantage of advanced features such as magic methods, exceptions, and abstraction.
  • Gain insight into modern Python programming paradigms including testing, documentation, packaging, and distribution.
  • Learn by following along with ten interesting projects, including a P2P file–sharing application, chat client, video game, remote text editor, and more. Complete, downloadable code is provided for each project!

Who is this book for?

Programmers, novice and otherwise, seeking a comprehensive introduction to the Python programming language.

About the Apress Beginning Series

The Beginning series from Apress is the right choice to get the information you need to land that crucial entry–level job. These books will teach you a standard and important technology from the ground up because they are explicitly designed to take you from “novice to professional.” You’ll start your journey by seeing what you need to know—but without needless theory and filler. You’ll build your skill set by learning how to put together real–world projects step by step. So whether your goal is your next career challenge or a new learning opportunity, the Beginning series from Apress will take you there—it is your trusted guide through unfamiliar territory!

... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Baffled by criticism here
I started learning to program about 4 months ago, and, after arriving at Python, I've been through about 50-100 e-books-- though admittedly only half were written well enough to bear reading to the end.This is by far and away the best book for learning Python.The others are not even close.I find myself following a pattern in my current reading now: I start a book I 'should' read (something on webframeworks or guis or orms or one of the non-cpython implementations) and read a few chapters until annoyed and bored; then I go back to rereading random parts of this book, until I feel enough inspiration to slog through more of the horribly-written stuff.This author is a rare find in the world of programming books.He's an excellent teacher, an excellent writer, and a competent programmer.Most Python authors hardly concern themselves with teaching, and, at best, strive to write in either encyclopedic style or in High-School-Journalism-Titles-That-ZING style ("Caching In!", "Anybody Want a 'Cookie?'", etc.).

3-0 out of 5 stars A lot of Python 2.X rements
This book is pretty well written and easy to understand. The first few chapters seem really analogous to the MIT OCW beginning Python course.

My main issue with the book is that it is supposed to cover Python 3. The author states that the Python 2 syntax is nearly identical to Python 3 and that where it is different in the book he will make note of it. However, there are several examples that will give errors in Python 3 that are not noted by the author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Love the book is incredibly fun.
I program in a Linux computer and this books helps me a lot.
It teaches you how to program in Unix systems and in Windows systems.
is 20 chapters of learning and 5 chapters of projects.
the projects include:
-Creating a chat.
-Creating video games.
-Creating Share file system.
-and more...

However if you want to specialize in game developing I recommend the book from the same publishre "Game Programming with Python and Pygame" because this books goes over games only in the last chapter and briefly.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good boook covers the basics
This is a good book that covers the basics and works you up to some more complicated topics such as programming sockets, User Interfaces, and a P2P application. If you want to learn python and have little programming experience this book should help you. it gives a good overview of the many things you can do with python.

5-0 out of 5 stars A perfect read from cover to cover
I took this book with me on vacation and read it cover to cover. I have ready many books on various languages so I have experience the good and the very very bad. This book bubbled up on my very good list. I now feel comfortable with Python and have already started developing in it.

Not only does the author pack the book with many examples, he does a great job explaining why it works and why one way is better then another. He also covers the long and short approaches to certain language constructs. Apress continue to produce good quality books. This is a perfect example.

I recommend it for anyone at any level who wants to learn all they need about python.
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