Book recommendation

Paul Robson autismuk at
Wed Nov 24 08:34:06 CET 2004

On Tue, 23 Nov 2004 22:21:34 -0500, Madhusudan Singh wrote:

> I am trying to teach myself Python. I have extensive prior programming
> experience in Fortran, a little in C/C++,  Pascal, etc.
> So far, I have been reading online tutorials at and a book I
> found at the library - Martin Brown's The Complete Reference Python. Is
> there a standard classic book to learn from that I could buy ?
> Say something like Metcalf and Reid's Fortran 90/95 Explained or Kernighan
> and Ritchie's The C Programming Language.

Hi there Madhusudan :)

There's a couple of brief introductions worth reading ; one is by the
language's creator Guido van Rossum, and the other by a chap called
Swaroop (A byte of Python I think it's called). Both of these are quick
read introduction type things.

A most entertaining and completely backward book is "Dive into Python"
(all these are free downloads but you can buy the latter as a book) which
has the approach where each section starts of with a relatively
complex working chunk of Python code, then pulls it apart and shows you
how all the bits work, and explains the various concepts as you go along.

Once you've done that, if you want some useful bits of coding just to get
the feel of it, try answering some of the Perl or Ruby Quiz-of-the-week
questions (archives are online search for Perl|Ruby quiz of the week).

None of the tasks are more than a page or two of python, but it's a quick
way of getting a feel for the language.

The other thing that's handy to have to hand is the Quick Reference which
is about 20 or so pages and handy for a quick look up.

There are many IDEs and Editors about from the quick and dirty through to
full IDEs (which personally I find too much of a clutter). I personally
like Scite which is the former.

Remember, for i in range(100): print "Murali chucks" :)

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