It's ...

J. Clifford Dyer jcd at
Wed Jun 24 19:41:44 EDT 2009

On Wed, 2009-06-24 at 14:54 -0700, Aahz wrote:
> In article <mailman.2074.1245876142.8015.python-list at>,
> J. Cliff Dyer <jcd at> wrote:
> >
> >Glad you're enjoying Beazley.  I would look for something more
> >up-to-date.  Python's come a long way since 2.1.  I'd hate for you to
> >miss out on all the iterators, booleans, codecs, subprocess, yield,
> >unified int/longs, decorators, decimals, sets, context managers and
> >new-style classes that have come since then.
> While those are all nice, they certainly aren't essential to learning
> Python.

Mostly, no, you are correct.  With some exceptions:

1) You have to know iterators at a basic level (not enough to understand
how the iterator protocol works, but enough to know what 'for line in
f:' does.

2) Sets are as essential as any other data structure.  If you are
learning both lists and tuples, you should be learning sets as well.

3) If you're learning object-oriented programmin, new-style classes
should be the only classes you use.

4) You should know how a decorator works, in case you run across one in
the wild.  

5) Booleans are a basic type.  You should know them.

Codecs, the subprocess module, yield, decimals and context managers can
certainly come later.  (All this of course, is assuming the Python 2.x
world, which I think is still the right way to learn, for now)


> -- 
> Aahz (aahz at           <*>
> "as long as we like the same operating system, things are cool." --piranha

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