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Press Release: April 19, 1999

O'Reilly Guide for Python Beginners Now Available

SEBASTOPOL, CA -- O'Reilly has announced the release of a new beginner's guide to Python, Learning Python . Python is gaining in popularity as an object-oriented language for writing standalone programs, quick scripts, and prototypes of complex applications. Python is free, open-source, and easy to use. Python scripts are portable across many platforms, including all major Unix systems, Linux, Windows 95/98, Windows NT, and MacOS.

"Python's simple syntax and powerful object model have made Python a favorite among expert programmers, who have recognized in it a powerful tool that can be useful for all kinds of programs, from simple scripts to sophisticated website management systems," explains co-author David Ascher. "In our classes, Mark and I have found that novices are just as quick to appreciate Python and become productive with it, if they are given the right kind of help at the beginning. Learning Python was written to let the maximum number of people discover the joy of programming in Python, regardless of their prior expertise."

Already widely used on Unix and Linux platforms, Python's clean interface to Windows application object models makes it an attractive scripting language for Windows programmers. JPython, a version of Python designed to work with the Java programming language, also makes Python an attractive tool in the Java environment.

" Learning Python is explicitly aimed at beginners, focuses on the core language, and is designed to be a structured learning tool," says Mark Lutz. "For instance, it's organized by language features, and most chapters end with a look at common pitfalls that trip up beginners, as well as exercises with solutions. It's also largely based on training materials, which makes it roughly equivalent to taking an introductory Python class. In addition, my co-author David Ascher provided a chapter on common tasks with Python, as well as one with more advanced material about things like CGI, COM, Tkinter, and JPython, which even the most grizzled Python veterans should enjoy reading."

Sample chapters ( Chapter 9, Common Tasks in Python, and Chapter 10 Frameworks and Applications) are available at:

A piece about JPython, by O'Reilly editor Frank Willison, is available at:

Learning Python
By Mark Lutz & David Ascher
1st Edition April 1999 (US)
1-56592-464-9, 384 pages, $29.95 ($US)

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