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Learning Python (Help for Programmers) [Paperback]

Mark Lutz , David Ascher
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Learning Python Learning Python 3.1 out of 5 stars (17)
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Book Description

17 April 1999 1565924649 978-1565924642 1

Learning Python is an introduction to the increasingly popular Python programming language. Python is an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented scripting language. Python is growing in popularity because:

  • It is available on all important platforms: Windows NT, Windows 95, Windows 98, Linux, all major UNIX platforms, MacOS, and even the BeOS.
  • It is open-source software, copyrighted but freely available for use, even in commercial applications.
  • Its clean object-oriented interface makes it a valuable prototyping tool for C++ programmers.
  • It works well with all popular windowing toolkits, including MFC, Tk, Mac, X11, and Motif.Learning Python is written by Mark Lutz, author ofProgramming Python and Python Pocket Reference; and David Ascher, a vision scientist and Python user.This book starts with a thorough introduction to the elements of Python: types, operators, statements, classes, functions, modules, and exceptions. By reading the first part of the book, the reader will be able to understand and construct programs in the Python language. In the second part of the book, the authors present more advanced information, demonstrating how Python performs common tasks and presenting real applications and the libraries available for those applications.All the examples use the Python interpreter, so the reader can type them in and get instant feedback. Each chapter ends with a series of exercises. Solutions to the exercises are in an appendix.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (17 April 1999)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 1565924649
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565924642
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 17.9 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 291,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

The authors of Learning Python show you enough essentials of the Python scripting language to enable you to begin solving problems right away, then reveal more powerful aspects of the language one at a time. This approach is sure to appeal to programmers and system administrators who have urgent problems and a preference for learning by semi-guided experimentation.

First off, Learning Python shows the relationships among Python scripts and their interpreter (in a mostly platform-neutral way). Then, the authors address the mechanics of the language itself, providing illustrations of how Python conceives of numbers, strings and other objects as well as the operators you use to work with them. Dictionaries, lists, tuples and other data structures specific to Python receive plenty of attention including complete examples.

Authors Mark Lutz and David Ascher build on that fundamental information in their discussions of functions and modules, which evolve into coverage of namespaces, classes and the object-oriented aspects of Python programming. There's also information on creating graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for Python applications with Tkinter.

In addition to its careful expository prose, Learning Python includes exercises that both test your Python skills and help reveal more elusive truths about the language.


...will give you a good feel for the language and get you started if you want to learn it. -- Jerry Pournell, March 4, 2002

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I'm not at all a programmer. I had some programming classes in modula2 during my training in biotechnology and played a bit with BASIC but I didn't do any seriuous programming till I read this book.
I read the first chapters of this book, had the feeling I understood some, put it aside and came back later. At the second glance I had a "Aha" experience. I devoured the other chapters and now I'm really programming. I won't built a wordprocessor from scratch yet, but I'm able to use python (a very powerfull language) to solve realworld problems and help me maintaining a website, make a simple organiser and so on.
Thank you Mark Lutz and David Ascher for your book, thank you Guido van Rossum for the python language.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good introduction to a great language 6 Jun 1999
By A Customer
I found the book to be very good, and especially liked the "gotchas" section at the end of each chapter.
Half of the book is dedicated to some realistic, ableit small, examples which is also quite good.
The book thoroughly covers all the language basics but certinaly does not teach object-oriented programming so do not expect that.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent starting point for learning Python 19 Mar 2000
Learning Python was where I started out when learning the Python language - it assumes no previous programming experience, although I would advise the absolute beginner to start on something a little more basic. The book is divided into two parts. The first, written by Mark Lutz, takes the reader step-by-step through the basics of the language, providing familiarity with the core of the language. The second, smaller part of the book is written by David Ascher, and is the only thing which prevented me from awarding the book five stars - although it provides applications of the language to common tasks and problems, I thought it was a little too messy and abstract to be of any real use. The method adopted in Programming Python is much better. Overall, a great starting point for learning Python, and a worthy stepping stone for some of the larger, more advanced books available.
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