ANN: New Book: Programming in Python 3

Mark Summerfield list at
Fri Dec 19 23:21:15 CET 2008

On 19 Dec, 19:52, excord80 <excor... at> wrote:
> On Dec 4, 2:42 pm, Alan G Isaac <ais... at> wrote:
> > Mark Summerfield wrote:
> > > "Programming in Python 3:
> > > A Complete Introduction to the Python Language"
> > > ISBN 0137129297
> > >
> > OMG, you really wrote it in Lout?
> > I wish you would add to
> > a comment on what you get out of that
> > (compared to using e.g., LaTeX or
> > reStructuredText).
> I'm also curious about why you chose Lout over LaTeX or reST.

It seems to me that markups can be broken into two groups: semantics-
oriented (reST, docbook, etc), and output oriented (lout, LaTeX). For
books I want the best possible typesetting control and don't care
about semantics (since I don't repurpose my text), so I chose an
output oriented markup. (I know this is a gross simplification --- I'm
not trying to start a religious debate.)

I haven't used LaTeX much, but here're my main reasons for using lout:
- easy to do easy stuff; hard stuff possible
- everything in one package (tables, equations, drawing, charts, etc)
- I can't draw but I can tell lout to draw for me and that works well
for my simple needs
- embedding graphics (e.g., screenshots) is easy (just convert to EPS)
- lout lets me specify Type1 fonts so I can easily use my own custom
Venus font for code & it is easy to embed it which makes publication
- lots of books that use LaTeX have a certain sameness & I don't like
the computer modern fonts (IMO -- no offence intended)
- after more than a decade of using lout I can pretty well get it to
do anything & everything I want (but I don't claim to be an expert

IMO lout has three major downsides:
- doesn't support Unicode
- doesn't support Type1 fonts (well, apparently it does but I haven't
managed it)
- is much slower than LaTeX; so I'm told, but never been a problem for
me except:
- the design of the support for indexes is awful & index generation is
(If you want to know how more about lout please ask me off-list or ask
on the lout mailing list since this is now way off-topic:-)

More information about the Python-list mailing list