Those two controversial 2nd & 3rd paragraphs of my ch 1

Alf P. Steinbach alfps at
Wed Jan 13 15:41:25 CET 2010

Referring to <url:>

Due to especially Steven D'Aprano's comments I've replaced "hopeless" with "very 
hard" in paragraph 1 of section 1.1  --  I know he'll disagree with that also 
but I think any more downplaying of the difficulties would be misleading.

According to Mensanator's comments I've changed paragraph 2 in section 1.1 to 
point out that the latest version of Python is typically not bundled with an OS.

The two paragraphs now read:

As of this writing two main variants of the Python language are in use, namely 
Python 2.x and Python 3.x (versions 3.0 and greater). Mostly they’re the same 
but the effect of e.g. the / division operator changed in 3.0, so  in practice 
it’s very hard to create programs that work the same  –  or even just work  – 
with both variants. The examples and discussion in this book assume Python 
version 3.1.1 or later.

Python implementations, the tools etc. that you need to create and run Python 
programs  –  at least for some earlier version of Python!  –  are bundled with 
many operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS X, but unfortunately not with 

It's said that the hardest part of a book is the opening sentence  --  "It was a 
dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional 
intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the 
streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, 
and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the 
darkness"  --  but in my case, not 1st sentence but the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs!

Comments welcome.


- Alf

PS: Now more stuff added to ch 3 but I've not updated the separate TOC since 
that's a bit of work.

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