Sebastopol, CA--O'Reilly's newest release. Python Cookbook (US $39.95), is a compilation that draws from the collective expertise of the Python community--including code created by David Ascher, Tim Peters, Paul Prescod, Mark Hammond, and Alex Martelli, as well as over one hundred other Python programmers. The recipes included in this new book highlight Python best practices and can be used directly in day-to-day programming tasks, as a source of ideas, or as a way to learn more about Python. The author royalties will go to the Python Software Foundation, a non-profit endeavor whose goal is supporting Python and encouraging its use.
"It's a vastly collective work," says co-editor Alex Martelli, "The recipes come from hundreds of authors who freely donated them for the good of Python, so the book inherently deals with what current Pythonistas consider useful, interesting, and important. It was a real challenge to both respect the individuality and diversity of each contributor's style and ideas, and the uniformity of presentation and style expected from an O'Reilly Cookbook. We did our best to meet these two apparently conflicting goals, keeping in mind that there's a meta-goal they both stem from: give the reader of the book the maximum value, in terms of both clarity and ease of reading (best served by uniformity) and also exposure to a wide range of individuals' approach to Python (best served by diversity). So, each time an editing decision had to be made, the meta-goal of 'maximum value to the reader' was always foremost in our mind."
The "Python Cookbook" is packed with rigorously reviewed Python "recipes"--for everything from simple tasks, such as working with dictionaries and list comprehensions, to entire modules that demonstrate templating systems and network monitoring--that can be cut and pasted into your own applications, saving hours of programming time, and leaving you free to concentrate on the creative and unique aspects of your application.
"Not everyone has had the good fortune of working side to side with real experts of the Python language," says Martelli. "The 'Python Cookbook' gives them the same know-how such experience would give."
More than just a collection of tips and tricks, the "Python Cookbook" covers topic areas spread across more than two hundred separate "recipes," including searching and sorting, text manipulation, working with files, threads, and databases, object oriented programming, XML processing, network programming, system administration, and more.
"All in all, the breadth and depth of this collection are impressive," says Guido van Rossum, Python's creator, in the foreword to the book. "This is a testimony to Python's wide range of application areas, but also to its user community."
Anyone interested in Python will find this wealth of practical advice, chunks of reusable code, and patterns of program design indispensable.
Related article: Cooking with Python; Seven Tasty Recipes for Programmers
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