"Programming Python" still worthwhile?

Fredrik Lundh fredrik at pythonware.com
Wed Jun 9 06:03:24 EDT 1999

Rick Robino <see-sig at wavedivision.com> wrote:
> I've been watching this group for some time and just now getting warm to
> Python. Looking at source examples has been great, but for completeness'
> sake I'd like to get more of the "why" maybe found in a book.

Programming Python was written to given you the "why";
it's as much about the process of programming (and how
python affects that), as about the python language itself.
and most of it will work just fine with 1.6.  you'll find the
necessary updates (up until 1.5.2) at:


also note that Programming Python is *not* a tutorial
(though you'll find one in an appendix), and it's *not*
a reference manual.  many PP critics seems to have
missed that.

but you may find Learning Python a better choice,
though.  see below.

> Since Python is at 1.5.2 and people are talking about 2.0
> as if it's around the corner.

it's not.  forget everything you've ever heard about it.
it only exists as a few ideas in Guido's head, and he's
about to embark on a "programming for the masses"
project, so those ideas are likely to change...

next stop is 1.6.

probably early next year, or so. expect unicode, a
more modular interpreter, string methods, and pro-
bably lots of changes under the hood.  hardly any
major changes on the surface.

if I'd were you, I'd stop worrying about the future,
and learn to love what Python can offer you today!

(btw, there are LOTS of books coming out now, so
changing Python in a way that renders them useless
would be very, very stupid...  and if Guido suddenly
loses his mind, I can guarantee that others will step
in and maintain the 1.X series for another 30 years
or so...)

> I was wondering if anyone here could give me some advice as to whether or
> not "Programming Python" is useful, if the current edition is still
> current, if I should wait for the "Learning Python", or if I should use
> some other resources.

Learning Python is available, since long.  if you're a new-
comer to python, it's by far your best choice.

the five-star rating at amazon isn't there by accident...

btw, If you're going to buy it via amazon, consider
supporting the Python Software Association:



(and this concludes my weekly broadcast to c.l.py ;-)

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