Want to learn Python

Alex Martelli aleax at mac.com
Sun Jun 17 02:14:36 CEST 2007

7stud <bbxx789_05ss at yahoo.com> wrote:

> > I'm curious, have you tried _Python for Dummies_?
> No, I haven't.  Unfortunately, I don't ever consider Dummies books.
> That type of marketing appeals to certain people and not others.  I'm
> one of the others.  I'll definitely take a look at it the next time
> I'm in the bookstore.

Aahz's book is really good, in my opinion.  So are many others in the
"for Dummies" series that I've had occasion to try (including the one
with the delightfully unintended pun in its title, "Bridge for Dummies":
despite the title it applies to declarers and defenders just as well:-).
Judging a book by its cover (and, by extension, by how its publisher
markets a series) is the proverbial epitome of superficiality.

> >We didn't wait for Wiley to offer, we simply insisted on providing a
> >list of index terms.
> It's nice to hear about an author who cares enough about the end
> product that bears their name to insist on quality.  I'm so tired of
> hearing authors whine that the publisher screwed up the book.

Oh, I'm SO awfully sorry to add to your tiredness!  But the "whining"
that so saps your energy is a simple statement of fact, at least in my
case -- my publisher just didn't allow me sensible options for providing
the index myself.  Oh, I could have "provided a list of index terms",
separate and floating in a vacuum (but "genexps" is in the index anyway,
as is "generator expressions":-), but there was no way I could do it
_right_, simply tying each index term to all the pages/page-ranges it
should point to by including suitable tags in my manuscript.  I won't
tire you further with a tirade about my unpleasant tools experiences
with both the Cookbook and the Nutshell, but they're a good part of
what's holding me back from writing another book with the same publisher
(including a third edition of either).

I believe (and it seems the generally good reviews of the book support
me in this) that the Python community is better off with a Nutshell with
an imperfect index than it would be with no Nutshell at all, which would
likely be the case if I had "insisted on quality" as you apparently
would have preferred.


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