Which Python book?

Dan Christian robodan at netscape.com
Tue Feb 8 19:43:32 EST 2000

Art Pollard wrote:
> Here is my $0.02 worth on the various Python books.
> Programming Python:  Not particularly good.  Not worth the $$$.  I'm sure
> I'll
>    find a use for my copy but I haven't found it yet.

This used to be the most complete reference book (for all the standard
modules and such).  I think the "Essential Reference" book has surpassed

Personally, I liked it.  It used to be the only book out there.  It is
definately out of date.  The CD is v1.3 and it was before the new 're'
style of regular expressions.

> Python Esential Reference: Excellent Book!  I highly recommend it.  Between
>  Quick Python and PER, I'd say you would have the core of what it takes to
> learn
>   Python.

I haven't use this too much, but it seems to be the best and most up to
date reference.  The organization and indexing seem good.

There is also a "Pocket Python" book that I can never seem to find my
way around.  Maybe I just haven't used it enough to grok the

> Of course, I am just learning Python myself.  It is funny to me that the
> O'Reilley books
> seemed to come up short on this one.  Usually, they are pretty good. 

They were there first and haven't been updated in a while.  I talked to
them at a show about "Programming Python" being out of date and they
said that they welcomed the feedback.

I thought that "Learning Python" was O'Reilley.

>  I'd
> also like to
> see a good explanation somewhere about how to use IDLE and techniques for
> writing / debugging Python programs since Python's development tools are a
> tad
> rougher to the nice IDE's I'm used to.  (So I'm spoiled.... :-)
> -Art

Another "older" title is "Internet programming in Python".  Good intro
stuff and then some CGI and server examples.  The writing is quite
personal and funny.  Again, this pre-dates 're' (unless there is a new
revision that I don't know about).

Both "Programming Python" and "Internet Programming in Python" talk in
some depth about how to embed and extend it.  That may seem 'extra', but
it was the first thing that I needed to do.


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