python texts?

Scott David Daniels scott.daniels at
Sat Jun 17 11:50:12 CEST 2006

Dave Cook wrote:
> On 2006-06-17, nate <nate at> wrote:
>> reading Learning Python 2nd edition by O'Reilly. I am enjoying it at the 
> I'd get the Python Cookbook, next.

There's a jump.  The Cookbook is quite advanced.  I'd write code next.

Then, I'd read through the docs for all the provided modules (fast, the
idea is to know where to go back for detail, not to understand each
module in depth), and write more code.  If you want paper for going
through the modules, next I'd read either Beazley's "Python Essential
Reference" or Alex Martelli's "Python in a Nutshell."

Choosing between P.E.R. and Nutshell is really quite individual.  They
are both great, thorough jobs that leave you with a wonderful reference
work after you've read them.  I'd say P.E.R. is terser, going for
density and brevity, while the Nutshell is a bit more elaborative
on what it covers.  The choice between Martelli and Beazley is, I
suspect, one of your learning style.  Find somewhere to look at each
(any edition) and read twenty pages from the middle.  One of them will
seem much better than the other, and it has everything to do with what
you prefer.

The Cookbook comes later.  As does getting all the way through the
challenge, but for puzzle lovers, it can be great fun.

--Scott David Daniels
scott.daniels at

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