I'd like to learn Python

Tom Bryan tbryan at python.net
Mon Aug 12 00:52:45 CEST 2002

Jim Jinkins wrote:

>>>I'd like to learn Python. I have very little prior programming
>>>experience, so please view me as a complete newbie to programming.
>>>I'm looking for a book or two. 

It depends on whether very little means you aced a CS class in something 
like C or Pascal 5 years ago or whether it means that you've never really 
programmed before except to customize somebody else's Microsoft Excel 

>>The book is "Learn to Progam Using Python: A Tutorial for
>>Hobbyists, Self-Starters, and All Who Want to Learn the Art of Computer
>>Programming" by Alan Gauld.  Yes, it is a very long title but you can find
>>the book on Amazon and read more about it.

I highly recommend this book if you're in the "don't know anything about 
programming" category.

I would also recommend something like "Simple Program Design" by Robertson.

> It depends on where you are starting from.  For a neophyte programmer
> these two books are ideal - and free.
> http://diveintopython.org/
> http://www.greenteapress.com/thinkpython.html
> I really like Lutz, Mark and David Ascher.  Learning Python.  O'Reilly.
> 1999.  There may be a later edition.

I would only recommend these books to someone who is already comfortable 
with at least one other programming language.  In particular, I helped a 
complete neophyte through _Learning_Python_, and I can't imagine many 
complete beginners making it through the book without personal contact with 
a more experienced programmer.

Then again, if "very little prior programming experience" means that you 
only know one language, then one of these books may be perfect.  

Good luck,

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