"Programming Python" still worthwhile?

Rick Robino see-sig at wavedivision.com
Wed Jun 9 19:12:18 EDT 1999

Fredrik Lundh <fredrik at pythonware.com> wrote:
> 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:

> http://home.rmi.net/~lutz/

Sounds like I'll have to check this out no matter what, but I can
borrow it. I appreciate the confirmation of its currency.

> 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.

A tutorial would be Ok, if (like the amazon description says) it's
a self guided one and doesn't stop at simple arrays at the end of
the book. All the posters to this thread seem to be quite happy 
with Learning Python, so I will certainly get it.

>> 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!

I will. I just don't know how many times I've bought books
about a week before O'Reilly makes a press release about
the next edition (sendmail, esa, et al.) And then again,
I have books for some things that are too new to be much
use outside of experimentation because the product hasn't
penetrated yet (eg., ksh93). This time I thought I would
break down and ask ;)

> (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:

> http://www.python.org/psa/bookstore/

"Your order has been submitted. Thank you for shopping at Amazon.com."

Done via the PSA link, filled out the survey too - cost was $23.99 plus
shipping ($6.00 + $1.95). Not too bad.

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

Thanks to everyone who replied. One of the reasons python appeals to
me are the people in this group. Even when they disagree its _so_
civil! And always intelligent.

Cheers all,

Rick Robino                                  rrobino [at] wavedivision.com

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