Professional IronPython Paperback – Apr 5 2010
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From the Back Cover
Create applications that are more responsive to user needs
IronPython should be an important part of your developer's toolbox and this book will quickly get you up and running with this powerful language. John Paul Mueller clearly shows how IronPython can help you create better desktop or web-based applications in less time and with fewer errors. Throughout the pages, you'll find techniques for extending IronPython and making it a more robust language. In addition, you'll follow advanced steps such as building an IronPython extension that directly accesses the Win32 API. And you'll enhance your skill set as you introduce IronPython into other environments such as Linux and Mac OS X.
Demonstrates how to build applications that every developer needs to know when starting a new language
Explains how to create Windows Forms applications, interact with COM objects, and work at the command line
Uncovers how to work with XML, the Dynamic Language Runtime, and other .NET languages
Shows how you can use IronPython to improve your testing process for just about any language
Discusses techniques for using IronPython with the Python Standard Library
Wrox Professional guides are planned and written by working programmers to meet the real-world needs of programmers, developers, and IT professionals. Focused and relevant, they address the issues technology professionals face every day. They provide examples, practical solutions, and expert education in new technologies, all designed to help programmers do a better job.
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About the Author
John Paul Mueller is the owner of DataCon Services, a consulting firm, where he has written code for everything from database management systems (DBMS) to low-level hardware access code. He is the author of more than 80 books covering topics such as Web Services, web development, and Win32 API. He has also published over 300 articles.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Such was my position after reading other books on IronPython. Things still were not working the way I wanted them to, and my frustration was mounting. Luckily, I found John Mueller's book Professional IronPython, which quickly cleared the confustion and made exploring IronPython fun again.
Professional IronPython is definitely targeted to experienced developers. It will not teach you Python from the ground up. If you are not familiar with .NET, you will find the going tough. On the other hand, if you want explanations and practical guidance on how to create a productive development environment that fully leverages the power of IronPython, this book is the best guide available.
The author does an admirable job of documenting the differences between standard CPython and IronPython and showing you how to take full advantage not only of the Python Standard Library but also the vast number of third-party Python libraries using IronPython. This is important since IronPython, although a complete and compatible implementation of Python 2.6, is hosted on the .NET platform and thus must do certain things differently.
In summary, Professional IronPython is to my mind the best and most practical guide to IronPython available. So if you want to explore the exciting new world of dynamic languages on .NET and leverage the incredible power of Python, then this is the book for you.
I will give it 5 star rating for making it so easy and interesting.
First of all, by 2014, it is too outdated. In 2010, when this book was written, IronPython was still in its infancy, with little tooling support, so the book contains many workarounds and tips for problems that do not exist anymore. Clever, but useless now.
Second, probably a half of the book is not even about Python. It is about lots of stuff, from COM programming to principles of writing command-line tools, none of which has anything to do with Python. In those parts that it does talk about Pyhon, it is just generic Python information, not IronPython specific. It even tries to teach basics of Python language at the beginning. For those readers who know Python it will be of little use, for those who don't, it will be too glossy and omitting some core concepts. For the purpose of getting to know Python, any popular Python book will be better.
This is an example of a recurring pattern in the book. The author likes to talk a lot about trivia (including useless screenshots), and gloss over difficult stuff, like the DLR and using IronPython from other .NET languages. Every time the excuse is that the intention was not to explain but to "give a taste."
I give it two stars rather than one because the book actually does contain some useful IronPython information, but frankly, it is probably better to read IronPython material on the internet.
Look at it this way: each book that you do NOT get causes you to lose about 1/3 of the info on IronPython that's available in books. I have all three, and have found useful things in each.
Part of the challenge in finding info on IronPython is that new versions of both it, and the tools for it, have been released since the books were written. Therefore, reGARDLESS of what book(s) you buy, expect to spend substantial time searching on the web in order to find all of the information you need.
HowEVER, I WOULD suggest buying whatever books you can- NOT just trying to divine the information from bits & pieces on the internet. Having many aspects of IronPython (use, syntax, examples, comments on tools) covered in one place (a book) is very helpful. I've not found any one site that would enable someone to get the birds-eye view of the landscape- which you CAN find in this, and the other, books. Once you get the landscape in mind, you can go explore particular areas by searching on the internet- but it's hard to piece together the large picture without getting ahold of at least one of the books.
In addition to having written a helpful book, Mr. Mueller continues to blog on occasion about IronPython. Just today, I came across some very helpful info in one of his old blog entries about PTVS (Python Tools for Visual Studio). It answered several broad questions (like, why can't I see 2/3 of my objects in VS immediate window): questions that even after searching around on the net for several months, on various IronPython questions, I'd not come across yet.
So, I suggest following his blog, too- you can probably find it by searching for it by his name (Amazon doesn't like URLs posted, so I'll leave it at that). Mr. Mueller reads & answers email, too- I found out- after asking him a question via his blog.
Again, don't expect that by buying one, or even all three, of the IronPython books that you'll be able to proceed without doing at least SOME searching about on the web... I wish it WERE the case, but I haven't found it to be so. But, nonetheless, buy as many books of the three books as you can manage...