Sebastopol, CA--You can tell a Pythonista by the astonishment he or she displays when viewing code in other languages, generally followed by the exclamation, "Why does it have to be so complicated?" If that's not evidence enough, look for comp.lang.python among his bookmarks. But the surest sign (short of asking) is the book he clutches in his hands. Your true Pythonista will keep the latest edition of Programming Python (Lutz, O'Reilly, US $58.99) within reach. No other resource explains the Python language syntax and programming techniques so thoroughly, or in as clear and concise a manner.
The new third edition of Programming Python has been updated to reflect current best practices and the abundance of changes introduced with the latest version of the language, Python 2.5. "There have been important changes in both the Python language and Python practice in the past five years which necessitated an update," says author Mark Lutz. "For instance, language features such as nested function scopes, string methods, and list comprehensions clean up a lot of code and have been incorporated throughout. I also updated many of the examples to be more feature-rich, and added new materials on topics such as the new email and XML packages, SQL and ZODB databases, PIL imaging tools, and so on, to make the book more practical. Many of these changes reflect feedback from the Python classes I teach."
Lutz points out that Python's popularity has grown much over the last five years, and new tools and techniques have emerged. "This edition has been updated to make is more useful as an application-level programming tutorial," he notes. "Once readers have studied the material, they'll be able to apply Python to real applications-level tasks: building web sites, coding GUIs, wrapping C libraries, doing system administration, and so on."
The book is written for people who already know the fundamentals of the Python language, but want to learn how to apply it to real programming tasks such as GUIs, databases, and the Internet. This book picks up where Learning Python leaves off, and gives the other half of the Python story: what you can do with it after you learn it.
Readers will learn how to apply Python in real-world problem domains such as GUI programming, parallel processing, networked applications, Internet scripting, and database management. 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.
"In some sense, this book is to applications-level programming what Learning Python is to the core language: a gradual tutorial, which makes no assumptions about your background in the common domains it covers, and teaches programming in those domains from the ground up," says Lutz. "For instance, Internet scripting is introduced gradually, beginning with network sockets and ending with discussions of full web frameworks. GUIs get a similar treatment with one introductory and two tutorial chapters.
"Larger examples are presented, but only after their techniques have been covered," Lutz adds. "Language topics such as OOP and code reuse show up as well, but in the context of realistic programs. Primarily, this book is for readers who want to learn the fundamentals of common Python domains, as well as study it in action in those domains."
If you're interested in Python programming, this O'Reilly classic needs to be within arm's reach. You won't find it sitting unused on a Pythonista's bookshelf. The wealth of practical advice, snippets of code, and patterns of program design can all be put into use on a daily basis, making the lives of Python programmers easier and more productive.
Programming Python, Third Edition
ISBN: 0-596-00925-9, 1551 pages, $59.99 US
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