[Tutor] Teach Yourself Python in 24 Hours book

Josh Gregorio jgregorio@qwest.net
Wed, 20 Feb 2002 12:06:51 -0700

I would recommend against this book. The explanations are no better or worse
than you will find elsewhere, and the sample exercises are so simple as to
waste your time. I have three of the 'teach yourself books' and all were not
very helpful. I won't be buying anymore.

The Teach Yourself Python book is really poorly done. The early sample
programs introduce a lot of concepts and techniques which aren't covered in
the book at all (for example, regular expressions. Some of the programs rely
on functions not introduced for several more chapters). Many of the sample
programs rely on concepts and code that are either not covered, barely
covered, or covered several chapters later.

The explanations are written well enough, but then there is very little
source code. Often after 600 or so words about a topic there are only one or
two lines to illustrate that topic. The larger programs that are included to
tie everything together have the same problem as the smaller programs:
unexplained code.

The exercises in the book seldom have programming assignments. Usually he
recommends searching the Internet for some related topic (history of goto,
control statements in early languages) or refers you to some absurdly
complex book that a beginner would not be ready for (he refers the reader to
Data Structures and Algorithms after a brief discussion of data types).

The worst part of the book is that many of the examples are shown in a dos
prompt or an idle window (screen shots). They are hard to read and take up a
lot of space. To me it looks like they included them so that the book would
be padded out to more pages.

I'd say go through the tutorials on www.python.org and then get Learning
Python by Lutz and Archer, from O'reilly press. That book has lots of code,
real exercises (with answers!) and no fluff.

----- Original Message -----
From: Jonikas Valdemaras <jonikas@ldr.lt>
To: <tutor@python.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2002 2:10 AM
Subject: [Tutor] Teach Yourself Python in 24 Hours book

> Hi all,
> Could you please sketch your impressions regarding
> Ivan Van Laningham's book "Teach Yourself Python
> in 24 Hours".
> Is it worth to use this book as first Python book
> (I have no programming experience)?
> Thanks,
> Valdas
> _______________________________________________
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