The first edition of this book was one of the first to present the Python language. This second edition is an almost completely new advanced Python topics book, designed to be a follow-up to the core language material in Learning Python and supplemented by the reference material in Python Pocket Reference.
That is, this edition is focused on ways to use Python, rather than on the language itself. Python development concepts are explored along the way -- in fact, they really become meaningful only in the context of larger examples like those in this edition. But in general, this text now assumes that you already have at least a passing acquaintance with Python language fundamentals, and moves on to present the rest of the Python story.
In this preface, I’ll explain some of the rationales for this major rewrite, describe the structure of this edition in more detail, and give a brief overview of how to use the Python programs shipped on the enclosed CD-ROM (view CD-ROM content online at http://examples.oreilly.com/python2). First of all, though, a history lesson is in order.