Books: Core Python Programming vs. Python Cookbook

Cameron Laird claird at
Tue Jan 7 15:00:15 CET 2003

In article <zoAS9.2014$7h3.484744 at>,
Sean Ross <sross at> wrote:
>I'm not very familiar with "Core Python", though I have browsed through it.
>I own the "Python Cookbook" and I'm very happy with it.
>It fits very neatly into one part of your criteria -
>>  Mostly I want
>> something to which I can refer for ideas on how to do things better
>> and examples of things I never knew were possible (or at least I never
>> knew were simpler than they sound).
>And, it does cover some Tkinter, network programming, etc. But it does not
>cover these topics in depth.
>Also,  it is available for free online. Personally, I prefer to read from a
>book which is why I bought a copy.
>But the same material, plus new submissions are available at
>in case your interested.
>For greater coverage of Tkinter, network programming, etc., I'd recommend
>     "Programming Python, 2nd Ed.", by Mark Lutz.
>It's a bit dated now, but it's still got a lot of code on a lot of subjects.
>Unfortunately, it is pretty expensive so, if money is an issue, this may be
>a problem.
>Oh, and for Tkinter in particular, I'd recommend "Python and Tkinter", by
>John E. Grayson.
>But, again, you've only got so much money...
>So, in a nutshell (which should be out soon I hope,  ;)  ),
>I'd say if you have the money get "Programming Python, 2nd Ed." otherwise
>get "Python Cookbook".
>The only thing I can say about "Core Python" is it did not convince me to
>purchase it.
*Core Python*'s a fine book.  I recommend it for people
who are tentative about programming, and need a lot of
hand-holding.  On the other hand, Prentice-Hall published
it in 2001, and it only touches on 2.0 features.  My
guess is Mr. MacMillan can do better.

John's book's even older, but still tops for Tkinter.
The one competitor, I suppose, is Fredrik's *An Introduction
to Tkinter*.

*Programming Python* gives a lot, but it's not for every-
one.  I still haven't figured out how to characterize it,
although people who consider themselves "beginners" in
Python generally don't find it satisfying--'least, not in
my experience.

I don't think the *Cookbook* can be beaten.  It says all
the right things, and says them artfully.  In principle,
it's to be read by those who already know what they're
doing with Python.  Its quality is so high, though, that
*every*one loves it.  Get the *Cookbook*.

It is *not* true that
has everything the dead trees version has, plus updates.
While it's a reasonable expectation, and perhaps things
have changed since I last looked (when I tried now, I was
unable to get through to, they have
been related-but-different in previous months.

Cameron Laird <Cameron at>

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