learning python...

Benoit Dupire bdupire at seatech.fau.edu
Wed Mar 21 22:55:06 CET 2001

Benjamin Altman wrote:

> Do you know how it compares to the first edition in terms of presentation and
> indexing?  I have heard from a few people that it is difficult to look up things in
> the 1st edition.  The only review on amazon of the 2nd ed. claims it is a complete
> rewrite despite his admitance that he has never read the book...
> Thanks,
> Ben

Yes, I also found "programming Python", 1st edition, from Mark Lutz, difficult to
it was the most complete book at the time it was written. I still think it's the most
complete and the more advanced book about Python (I did not see any others.., tell me
if I am wrong).  The 2nd chapter, which was intended to be a 'sneak preview of Python'
or 'a view from 10.000 feet'  was very long, and tedious to understand.. I guess that
10000 feet, it's too high for my poor stomach. There were even backward references to
this chapter from many other chapters... The other pb, you mentionned it, was the
organization... but it was not intended to be a reference book...rather a 'linear

The second edition seems to be better organized, but once again, Ive just read a small
fraction of it.
Anyway, it is stated in the introduction that it is still not a reference book. The
book presents Python's libraries, tools and programming techniques. Its aim is "how to
use the Core language in applications." So, there are some big examples...

Anyway the book is  intended for those who already know the Core Language and want to
see some applications using it...
the book was refocused, since the 1st edition, and it is not aimed at beginners (it's
why you have to read the 'leaning Python' book first).
I was therefore happy to see that 'The view from 10000 feet' was removed, and chapter 2

is now fun to read, because it presents the libraries, so it's not so steep,....so,
good work, Mark!
The book is going to take me a few weeks to read, though, as it is 1200 pages long, but

seems very promising.. and yes, it was completely rewritten...

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