Beginning Python Paperback – Aug 5 2005
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From the Back Cover
As a portable, open source, object-oriented programming language, Python combines remarkable power with clear syntax. And, as one of the fastest growing languages, Python manages systems and can be used for data mining and Web development. With this book, you'll learn how to program using the latest release Python 2.4 and create robust, reliable, and reusable Python applications.
You'll quickly see why Python is an ideal first programming language to learn, both for its ease of use and the fact that it offers interpreters for most operating system platforms. This in-depth look at Python 2.4 examines how it has become even easier for you to tell a computer what tasks you want it to do in an environment where you are in control.
What you will learn from this book
- Methods that can be used to quickly develop Web applications and scientific applications and to incorporate databases
- How to master system tasks on Linux,® Windows,®and Mac OS® X platforms
- How to handle and recover from any unforeseen problems
- Ways in which Python prides itself on its consistency, control, and ability to cope with change
- How Python incorporates modules, exceptions, dynamic typing, and very high level dynamic types and classes
Who this book is for
This book is for anyone who wants to learn how to program with Python or who wants to quickly learn how to use Python for rapid development of applications for the Web, scientific applications, bioinformatics, and applications for system tasks.
Wrox Beginning guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.
About the Author
Peter Norton (NY, NY) has been working with Unix and Linux for over a decade at companies large and small solving problems with Linux. An officer of the NY Linux Users Group, he can be found on the nylug-talk mailing list. Peter coauthored Professional RHEL3. He works for a very large financial company in NYC, plying his Python and open-source skills.
Alex Samuel (San Diego, CA) has developed software for biology researchers and now studies highenergy physics at Caltech. Alex has worked on many GNU/Linux development tools, including GCC, and co-founded CodeSourcery LLC, a consulting firm specializing in GNU/Linux development tools.
David Aitel (NY, NY) is the CEO of Immunity and a coauthor of Shellcoder’s Handbook.
Eric Foster-Johnson (Minneapolis, MN) uses Python extensively with Java, and is a veteran author, most recently completing Beginning Shell Scripting.
Leonard Richardson (San Francisco, CA) writes useful Python packages with silly names.
Jason Diamond (CA) Jason Diamond is a software development instructor for DevelopMentor and a consultant specializing in C++, .NET, Python, and XML. He spends most of his spare time contributing to open-source projects using his favorite language, Python.
Aleathea Parker (San Francisco CA) is a programmer working as a publication engineer for a major software company, coding primarily in Python and XSLT. She has a background in web applications and content management.
Michael Roberts (Puerto Rico) has been programming professionally in C, Perl, and Python for long enough that Python didn’t actually exist when he started. He is the chief perpetrator of the wftk open-source workflow toolkit, and he swears that it will someday be finished, for certain values of “finished”.
Top Customer Reviews
If your a novice programmer looking to get a good foundation in Python, this is the book for you.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Contents: Introduction; Programming Basics and Strings; Numbers and Operators; Variables - Names for Values; Making Decisions; Functions; Classes and Objects; Organizing Programs; Files and Directories; Other Features of the Language; Building a Module; Text Processing; Testing; Writing a GUI with Python; Accessing Databases; Using Python for XML; Network Programming; Extension Programming with C; Writing Shareware and Commercial Programs; Numerical Programming; Python in the Enterprise; Web Applications and Web Services; Integrating Java with Python; Answers to Exercises; Online Resources; What's New in Python 2.4; Glossary; Index
When I first started reading, I was a little disappointed at the target level. Up through about the Functions chapter, it's information that any programmer should already know (loops, variables, etc.) and would be best used by someone who had never programmed before in their life. While they do say that particular demographic is intended as a reader, I was hoping for more. From Classes on, it's material that squarely hits where intermediate programmers live and breathe, and it's at that point that the book takes off (in my opinion). Using the basic Python skills learned in the first section, you start to see how those concepts are applied in real programs that actually do stuff. And given the wide array of subjects they hit (C integration, GUI development, XML, etc.), you should quickly learn how best to use this language in many of the common situations you'll run into on a day-to-day basis. The writing style and format is consistent, as well as their use of examples throughout the book. You don't find yourself switching gears every few pages for some new contrived example that just came out of left field.
This is a book I'll be holding onto in order to free up time to get some hands-on experience with Python. It gives me what I need to know along with numerous ways to apply that knowledge, and from there I can decide how much further to take my learning...
Any book that purports to teach you a programming language ultimately passes or fails based on the examples it gives you in the text and the excercises it gives you at the end of each chapter. This is where the book is especially poor. There is only one example that runs throughout this book: how to make an omelet. On its own, it's not horrible. In general, program is like a recipe: you give it stuff at the begining and instructions and then you end up with a finished product (although, oddly, this analogy is never made in the book). The main problem, though, is that this is the only example. Every new idea is shown only once, in the context of this example, and many tricks that can be done with Python, but are not relevant to this example are not included in the book.
What's more, the excercizes are all keyed to the same example of making an omelet, which gets more and more ponderous with every passing chapter. Worst of all, as soon as your code no longer performs the way they describe, you're out of luck. You can no longer work through the ideas in the book and it is largely useless.
The bottom line is that there are much better books for learning Python. I would recomend getting "Learning Python" by Lutz and Ascher.
The book covers a lot of Python basics like strings, numbers, operators, variables. It also covers advanced topics like network programming, extending Python through C/C++, threading, GUI programming and Python with XML. In the end it discusses about the new features of Python release 2.4. Last Chapter "Integrating Java with Python" covers - scripting with java applications, Jython, integrating Java and Jython, J2EE servlets in Jython. I find it useful for both python and java programmer.
Book provides exercises at the end of every chapter, which can help you for self study and better understanding of the concepts. The explanations and the code throughout the book are easy to understand
I think this book would be a good choice for someone in the beginner to intermediate range. If you are a programmer (C, C++, Java, Perl) then it may be a little slow for you. A lot of time is put into syntax, control flow, and basic data structures, it can get a little difficult to digest. I thought more could have gone into topics like "Writing Shareware and Commercial programs".
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn Python but is new to programming.
I can't recommend this book to anyone other that the authors, because it seems to have only been written for themselves.