Is 2006 too old for a book on Python?

Matt Nordhoff mnordhoff at mattnordhoff.com
Fri Apr 25 15:28:49 CEST 2008


jmDesktop wrote:
> Hi, I wanted to buy a book on Python, but am concerned that some of
> them are too old.  One I had come to after much research was Core
> Python by Wesley Chun.  I looked at many others, but actually saw this
> one in the store and liked it.  However, it is from 2006.  I know
> there is free documentation and Dive Into Python.  I just liked the
> one in question and was hoping for thoughts on the age of it.  I am
> using Python 2.5.x and don' t know how different 2.3, 2,4 is from it.
> 
> Thank you.

Python 2.x releases maintain backwards compatibility. There are nice
features that have come since 2.3, but it's not like it's a different
language. You could learn from a slightly old book, then do some
research to find out what you missed. ('with' statement, ternary
operator, smaller things in the stdlib. Maybe generators? What else?)

Now, Python 3 will break backwards compatibility and make more
significant changes than usual, but it will still be basically the same
language, so the same thing applies. And anyway, it won't be very
relevant for a few years.
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