[Tutor] Very, very new

Brian van den Broek bvande at po-box.mcgill.ca
Fri Jun 11 09:45:57 EDT 2004

Michael P. Hopcroft said unto the world upon 10/06/2004 21:03:
> Gentles,
>    Let me state that my only experience with Python has been as an 
> end-user with programs that are programmed in Python. It had never 
> ocured to me that i wanted to program in the langauge until now.
>    Well, armed with the latest version of Python and a program idea that 
> may be too difficult for me to accomplish myself, I was wondering if 
> there was a good source that would teach me how to learn the language. 
> One local group in the Portland area, free Geek, is already teaching me 
> how to build computers. I'd like to be able to build programs too.
>    Anyone have suggestions on a good textbook for that purpose, 
> especially that would teach me how to work with graphical interfaces and 
> with databases (the sort of thing you would find in a roleplaying game 
> character generator).
>    Michael Hopcroft
>    P.S. Isn't the popular "PCGen" program written in Python as well? It 
> doesn;t seem like what i want to do si unprecedented.

Hi Michael,

I'm still a relative newcomer myself and have never used a GUI in anger, 
but perhaps the following might help.

1) You've already found one of the best resources there is -- the tutor list.

2) There are quite a few on-line tutorials, ranging from quick guides to 
book length presentations. (I certainly haven't looked at them all.) You 
can find a collection of links for ones target at beginners here 
<http://www.python.org/topics/learn/>. Preferences vary, but for a gentle 
starting from the complete beginning, I thought Think Like a Computer 
Scientist was very good. Its aimed at high school students so it goes down 
very easily, but happily it does not condescend. 
<http://www.ibiblio.org/obp/thinkCSpy/> It is also available as a printed 
book. But, for printed books, I think you can do better. To wit:

3) For physical books, I'd say start with Learning Python by Ascher and 
Lutz and once you have some skills get a copy of Martelli's Python in a 
Nutshell. Both are from O'Reilly. Both have some coverage of GUI, but 
neither are too focused on them, either. So, maybe someone else can 
recommend something for this.

4) You might also try surfing to 
<http://www.activestate.com/ASPN/Python/Cookbook>, find bits of code that 
interest you and then work out how and why they do what they do.

Hope that helps,

Brian vdB

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