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Python Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)) Paperback – 6 Mar 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 3 edition (6 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596009402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596009403
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 282,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Publisher

Updated to cover Python 2.4, Python Pocket Reference, 3rd Edition is the perfect on-the-job reference. For experienced Python developers, this book is a compact toolbox that delivers need-to-know information at the flip of a page. This third edition also includes an easy-lookup index to help developers find answers fast!

The Python Pocket Reference, 3rd Edition serves as the perfect companion to Learning Python and Programming Python.

About the Author

Mark Lutz is the world leader in Python training, the author of Python's earliest and best-selling texts, and a pioneering figure in the Python community since 1992. He is also the author of O'Reilly's Programming Python and Python Pocket Reference, and Learning Python (all in 4th Editions). Mark can be reached on the web at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Philip Bailey on 6 April 2007
Reviews referring to earlier editions have been mixed, but the 3rd edition does have an index--previously a cause of complaint. This edition covers up to Python 2.4, and gives a really useful summary of the language and commonly-used libraries.

This is genuinely a book which I keep by my side when Python programming to look up a forgotten piece of syntax or library method name.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bruce D on 29 Sept. 2005
This is the one python reference book i keep close by. It is concise, has a good index, and does exactly what it says on the tin ! It has also recently been reissued so the it is up-to-date. Well worth the modest price in my view !!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Object achieved 26 Jun. 2005
By C. M. Lowry - Published on
While this is not the tool for learning Python, it is a valuable reference. It is amazing how much information that is packed into this small format. Toss it into your laptop bag for a quick reference, particularly since the third edition contains an index and covers Python 2.4.

With so many useful applications using Python as a macro language (e.g. Testmaker), this handy reference will earn its keep. I wonder if O'Reilly has a Ruby on the way, since they have mastered the format.

Of course, there is always the online documentation, if you are online.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great reference - now with an index! 21 Nov. 2007
By J. A. Rodriguez - Published on
Verified Purchase
I read various reviews complaining about the lack of an index. Well, it does have one now and it complements perfectly what is a fantastic quick reference for many of your Python needs, from built-in modules to regular expressions. Of course, it does not include the formal grammar of the language, a complete reference of libraries available or anything other than quick pointers for someone who already knows what Python is but is not a guru yet (although anyone can forget how to open a file from time to time).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Meets its goals 24 Sept. 2007
By wiredweird - Published on
This is a great book for anyone who uses Python, especially for programmers at that level of Python competence after the beginner stage but short of a master's fluency. It provides a brief but clearly organized summary of Python basics: the language, primitive data structures, printf and other control codes, and the basic, everyday subset of the support libraries. And, since the editors apparently listened to criticism of earlier editions, the third editions includes a useful index as well as table of contents.

Some readers will be disappointed that it's not the book that it never meant to be. It never meant to be a tutorial or text book, it never meant to be a full specification of the language and libraries, and it never meant to be an encyclopedic description of the many available libraries. Decide what you want: if that's a quick reminder of Python's most useful basics, then this book will meet your needs.

-- wiredweird
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Useless 23 Sept. 2008
By Paolo - Published on
Verified Purchase
(Note: This review covered the 3rd edition so the complaints about being out of date don't stand anymore)

After reading the excellent C++ Pocket Reference, I decided that this book was worth a try, but I was disappointed.

The last half of this book is a list of module functions, that are MUCH more easily accessed thrugh the online documentation. I wish it was more a reference about the language than about the built-in modules. I don't remember (and I can't find it in the book index!) reading explicitly how to add an attribute to a class, or other language-specific operations.

Being a pocket reference, the language should be concise, but sometimes it is so obscure to be nearly incomprehensible.

Let me also point out that it is more than three years old, so it was not updated to cover Python 2.5, and of couse the upcoming 2.6 and 3.0. Furthermore it tries to cover many versions, with even some references to the 9-year old 1.5 release. I believe the latest would have been enough.

In no way this can replace the modules online documentation, not even as a quick reference.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great book for beginners 2 Sept. 2007
By Austin Salgat - Published on
Verified Purchase
This reference book is great for any beginner. I have recently picked up Python as my first language and have found myself commonly grabbing my reference book, going to the index, and looking up what I need. This along with the Python in a Nutshell book are my saving grace.
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