book advice

Dave Angel davea at
Sat Mar 2 04:01:18 CET 2013

On 03/01/2013 03:59 PM, leonardo selmi wrote:
> hi
> is there anyone can suggest me a good book to learn python? i read many but there is always something unclear or examples which give me errors.
> how can I start building a sound educational background
> thanks for any help
> best regards

The question isn't even clear.  You should explain that Python is your 
first programming language, and you should also tell us what version of 
Python you're trying to use, and on what OS.  Your first tutorial MUST 
be oriented to match both of these, or you're going to have too much 
trouble with compatibilities to learn much.

Say you're using a particular tutorial, and you have successfully done 
each of the samples, and understand how they worked.

If you then come across a sample which gives you errors, why not post 
them here, and ask for help.  As often as not, it's a typo when you 
copied the example, or it's a version mismatch.

Likewise, if you then find something that's unclear, there are really 
only three possibilities:  1) the author blew it, either by poor 
explanation or by using concepts not previously explained properly  2) 
you didn't understand one of the earlier concepts, or 3) you're going at 
too fast a pace for your abilities.  (That's not a knock on your 
abilities, we all run at a different pace while first learning than we 
do when we're acclimated to a topic)

When I come across unclear explanation, and I want to understand it, I 
stop after a couple of passes through the explanation, and try some 
stuff.  Either the exercises in the same tutorial, or just some related 
things that let me get a handle on things.  Once I can express the 
unclarity in a small sample program, it's the perfect time to post it 
here, and ask why it works the way it does (or doesn't).

If you stick to common parts of the standard library, you'll probably 
find the tutor at mailing list to be easier to get help at.  I 
read both, and respond where I can.


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