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Python Phrasebook Paperback – Nov 6 2006
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About the Author
Brad Dayley is a senior software engineer in Novell’s Nterprise Development Group. He has 14 years of experience installing, troubleshooting, and developing Novell’s products for NetWare and Linux. He is the co-author of Novell’s Guide to Resolving Critical Server Issues, as well as seven other Novell Press titles on the ZENworks suite.
When he is not writing books or software, he can be found biking, hiking, and/or Jeeping somewhere in the remote regions of the Pacific Northwest with his wife, DaNae, and four sons.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Almost everything I wanted to accomplish I got done just by using this book.
two weak points.
1) could have covered number formatting in output
2) dealing with dates is not really covered
This well written, simple little book fills that niche. You can put it in your pocket and read it on the train. It's well written and succinct. It's not for learning Python for the first time, you need more explanation and examples when you are learning new concepts. This book is a good reminder of things you already learned but has not completely stuck yet.
Examples I have already used are the string manipulation sections, threads and socket programming. I will probably use the HTML parsing examples next. In his examples Dayley does offer explanation. For example, he describes the elements of the try statement, including the finally, the else and the except parts. However this is done in only two paragraphs. It's a good memory jogger and reference if you already know the syntax.
In the string manipulation section, searching strings, comparing strings, splitting and joining, replacing, trimming and formatting are all covered. In addition, there is a little gem about executing strings as Python code. All the examples are useful and can be included immediately in your code!
I think I'll go through this guide pretty quickly, since it's small, but it's valuable and it's worth having. Let me repeat, this book is for a beginning Python programmer who is learning the basics with some other material, or has already learned the basics.
You can always find example code online, in various blogs, articles and tutorials, however it's easier to have one book by a single author that's well written and has a consistent voice. I highly recommend this book, and I wish the publisher would put out more small books like this. They are so easy to carry and have around.
In hindsight I've found most of the web section useless, even when using Python for a web backend language, although given the publish date, I'll forgive that.
My biggest problem is that, like all tech books, it's becoming obsolete. This book was written for Python 2.4, and there are a lot of valuable additions to the language, or third party libraries that have been released with 2.6 and 3 that supersede portions of code provided within.
If updated version for Python3 was released, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
I was disapointed by the absence of math things. 1 or 2 pages could have given an overview of the main math functions. Also no string-numeric conversion functions such as str(), float()... are given. This book is definitely not for scientists or science engineers/technicians.
Things presented are detailed, but they are quite limited.
A fully operational code example often meaningless follows every function introduced. It would be better to my opinion to introduce the functions individualy and then show an example showing several functions in action in a script that means something.
However, I also think it emphasizes the Web a lot. I would like to see more operating system and multimedia-related scripts in a future edition.