[portland] Recommendation for book to use in classroom?

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Fri Jan 16 19:33:33 CET 2009

Just browsing through O'Reilly's Safari this morning, looking for
stuff students could access if going with that service (what I
recommend to my corporate trainees -- for SatAcad we mostly read docs
on-line, don't assign homework except to keep working on their
projects with the same on-line docs):
Python Programming for the absolute beginner
Publisher: Premier Press
Pub. Date: 2003/01/01
Insert Date: 2004/08/19
Core Python Programming, Second Edition
By: Wesley J. Chun
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Pub. Date: 2006/09/18
Insert Date: 2006/10/11
Python Phrasebook: Essential Code and Commands
By: Brad Dayley
Publisher: Sams
Pub. Date: 2006/11/06
Insert Date: 2006/10/11
Python Power!: The Comprehensive Guide
By: Matt Telles
Publisher: Cengage Learning
Pub. Date: 2007/07/24
Insert Date: 2009/01/07

Python: Visual QuickStart Guide, Second Edition
By: Toby Donaldson
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Pub. Date: 2008/12/04
Insert Date: 2008/12/13

Plus 23 other titles I could cut and paste -- and take flak for doing.

Also, there's a lot of great stuff on ShowMeDo and/or YouTube and/or a
number of such video servers, so I at least make sure my students know
about 'em (this is where they'll find a lot of my own stuff as well).
For example here's Alex talking a lot about descriptors around the
time 2.3 came out, still quite relevant to engineering students
thinking to work for Google someday:


In my corporate trainings, I encourage those stepping forward as
wannabe Pythonistas to get Safari as a job perk, as it's clearly a
good investment from an HR point of view (human resources).  This is
my approach with Sisters of Providence for example, where I ride herd
sometimes (not in medical records though as I don't have that kind of
liability insurance (I stay on the outcomes research side of things,
huge registries of valuable clinical data, ancient dead languages like
MUMPS still very much in the picture)).


On Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 10:20 AM, Chris Foster <outofthenet at gmail.com> wrote:
> It's not a textbook, but I'd highly recommend the Python Essential Reference
> by Beazley *http://tinyurl.com/2ze3j6 * as an optional reference for kids
> who really care to learn.  There is a new version coming out in March (v.3),
> but the old ones (thru v.2.4) can be picked up for about $10 used.
> Beazley's summaries are the clearest and most concise I've seen.  Java
> sufferers will be blown away by the index of goodies and examples.  BTW, I
> tried the Nutshell book.  Martelli is a fantastic speaker, but just not
> quite as clear in my opinion.
> On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 9:22 PM, Charles Anderson
> <master.sparkle at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Does anyone have a recommendation for a (text) book to use for teaching
>> Python to students who already know Java?  I'll be teaching a college class
>> in spring to students who have had at least 2 quarters of Java.  So, they
>> should be hip to the basics of programming - e.g., conditionals, iteration,
>> methods, classes, etc.  I'd like to focus on "more interesting" bits of
>> Python that are difficult or impossible in straight Java - e.g.,
>> introspection, duck-typing, possibly metaclasses.
>> thanks,
>> Charles.
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