Books for programmers

vasudevram vasudevram at
Tue Jun 3 23:05:25 CEST 2008

On Jun 3, 6:42 pm, Mike Driscoll <kyoso... at> wrote:
> On Jun 3, 5:45 am, V <vdu... at> wrote:
> > Hi Matt,
> > and thank you very much for your answer.
> > > Hm, depends of course, how good your programming skills are in the
> > > languages you knwo already, but I rely on the book "Beginning Python -
> > > From Novice to Professional" by Magnus Lie Hetland, published by Apress.
> > I think that I'm interested in a more advance book, ideally one that
> > talk of the Python gotchas, traps, pitfall, idioms, performance,
> > stile, and so on. I really like the style used from Scott Meyers in
> > his Effective C++ series, or from Herb Sutter's Exceptional C++, but
> > after a quick look I did not find anything similar for Python...
> > Best regards.
> I agree with Rick. "Core Python Programming" by Chun is pretty good.
> However, Lutz's "Programming Python" is also very good and has a few
> big example programs to walk through. You might also find the Python
> Cookbooks handy.
> There's also "Python Power!" by Matt Telles, which is more of a
> reference book although not quite as dry as "Python Essential
> Reference" was.
> Mike

The Python Cookbook - printed version - I've read it - is a very good
book on the lines of what you're looking for, IMO. If you go by its
title, it might not sound like a book in the Effective Series (I've
read Effective C++ too and agree that its excellent), but it actually
is something quite like Effective C++, since its contributors include
many very good Python developers, including Alex Martelli, David
Ascher, Tim Peters, Raymond Hettinger, to name just a few. Though the
explicit goal of the book is not to be a book about idiomatic Python,
the point is that it ends up being a lot like that, since most of the
contributors write idiomatic Python. For example, one idiom that's
mentioned a lot in the book, is about one of Python's greatest
strengths - "smooth signature-based polymorphism" - with good examples
to substantiate it.

Though not a book, you may also find the Python articles by David
Mertz on IBM developerWorks very useful. Go to
and search for either "Charming Python" - the name of his Python
column there - or his name - to get the articles.

Vasudev Ram
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