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Python Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)) [Paperback]

Mark Lutz
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Oct 2009 0596158084 978-0596158088 4

This is the book to reach for when you're coding on the fly and need an answer now. It's an easy-to-use reference to the core language, with descriptions of commonly used modules and toolkits, and a guide to recent changes, new features, and upgraded built-ins -- all updated to cover Python 3.X as well as version 2.6. You'll also quickly find exactly what you need with the handy index.

Written by Mark Lutz -- widely recognized as the world's leading Python trainer -- Python Pocket Reference, Fourth Edition, is the perfect companion to O'Reilly's classic Python tutorials, also written by Mark: Learning Python and Programming Python.

  • Built-in object types, including numbers, lists, dictionaries, and more
  • Statements and syntax for creating and processing objects
  • Functions and modules for structuring and reusing code
  • Python's object-oriented programming tools
  • The exception-handling model
  • Built-in functions, exceptions, and attributes
  • Special operator overloading methods
  • Widely used standard library modules and extensions
  • Command-line options and development tools
  • Python idioms and hints

Product details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 4 edition (18 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596158084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596158088
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.9 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 175,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

Book Description

Python in Your Pocket

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, Python Pocket Reference, and Learning Python (all in 4th Editions). Mark can be reached on the web at

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what a pocket reference should be 5 Dec 2010
I think the title of this review says it all. This book is compact and brilliant it contains all the function, variables, operator information etc. that you can want, and in a very handy compact size.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mark Lutz is well known as a Python Guru and he writes clearly. The book is well organised and a good reference manual in the familiar O'Reilly style. I bought the Kindle version that does not really work because an eBook is designed for sequential reading which is not what a pocket reference manual is designed as. For an eBook it should be designed as an HTML help file (or the CHM variety).and although there is an interactive index this isn't good enough. My review is for the content and I'll probably buy the paperback version but I doubt that I will use the Kindle version.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners! 11 Jun 2012
By Nico
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Perhaps I am mean giving this only 3 stars, after all the other reviewers are very positive.
I suppose it isn't what I needed.
Here's my scenario - I am using the excellent book -Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner - to teach myself Python. I have some programming experience in other languages but will be teaching Python at this level to a class of 15 year-olds next term. Now the book is great but it is tutorial in style, so it not quick and easy to look up things ... say all the methods associated with lists, or whatever ....
I can and do, of course, use the Python web site which is fine when I am on line.

What I wanted was a little book where I could quickly look up some basic Python stuff, with a couple of examples. Anyone got any ideas?

Now the pocket reference book is obviously for more advanced Python programmers who already know a lot but want a quick reference - hence the, no doubt, well deserved 4 or 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book review: Python Pocket Reference 20 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The first thing to note about the Python Pocket Reference is that if I was completely new to the Python programming language and wanted to pick up a handy 'reference guide' to getting started with essential concepts, this would not be an ideal book for my needs whatsoever. Apart from the single-page introduction, the book provides no logical flow that would allow someone new to Python to jump right in and start experimenting with basic functions and progress to advanced skills by the end of the book. There is other books that suit beginner Python programmers and I would suggest that a more detailed read in a tutorial format would suffice.

However, if you're an experienced Python programmer with existing awareness and knowledge of the topics covered (statements, syntax, types etcetera) then Lutz's reference is an excellent book to keep handy whenever you're working with Python. As this is not a tutorial or guide book, expect no images or graphics to break up large paragraphs of text, but instead well-presented tables containing essential expressions linked to the current chapter and bullet-pointed lists with colour-coding and a distinctive pre-formatted typeface for code.

Viewed as support material for someone well versed in the conventions of Python, Lutz packs an enormous amount of convenient and useful information into the book's pocket-sized 210 pages and is able to concisely link related ideas together through dark red highlighting of chapter names within the text, serving as a sensible method of allowing programmers to read information related to a certain topic or function.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a great pocket reference 20 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm used to picking up O'Reilly pocket references and finding them to be excellent. They generally cut away the fat around learning a language and give you just the core facts.

This book is not like that.

I found this book to be useless at giving me the core pieces of information I needed to write Python code. Perhaps you need to be at an advanced level with Python before this book becomes useful, but as someone who has a little Python experience, plus 20+ years of development experience in general, I ended up turning to my search engine to fill in the gaps that I had hoped this book would fill.

I found it very difficult to find the things in the index, and when I eventually found the information it was in a format that was difficult to comprehend. It felt much more like a dry and technical language spec than a reference book.

The O'Reilly "Python in a Nutshell" book is much more useful as both a reference and as a learning text.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable tool for every Pythonista 10 April 2012
I owned the 2nd edition of PPR, which had some weak points, one of them being the lack of index. This 4th edition of PPR has a detailed index (10 pages), covers python 3.x and 2.6 (and also applies to 2.7), the matters have been reorganized and improved, and thus the contents page now is much more useful. The prose is excellent: neither very terse, nor verbose.

90% of the time I work in python solely with PPR, and the remaining 10% of time I consult David Beazley's excellent 4th edition of Python Essential Reference (Developer's Library) for getting the "dirty details" in python and in the numerous available libraries there described. Thus, PPR is more than a mere pocket guide: its 200 pages indeed correspond to a valuable python single reference for seasoned programmers coming from all backgrounds.

All in all, PPR is truly a swiss knife for every Pythonista.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Nice Little Book
A very useful little book for reference and open book exams; may not be what you're looking for if you have a fair bit of experience.
Published 8 months ago by Waylander101
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Python Reference Book
As expected from O'Reilly this is a very helpful and definitive guide for Python Programmers - it is not a learning tool! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A very neat and compact book
It is a bit small, but as it says in the title, this is meant to be a reference book
Published 12 months ago by James Percival
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
I must say it is a very good reference pocket book (It wont teach you coding!) and very helpful. I would only like it to have an ol'good spiral binding! ;-)
Published 12 months ago by Deathcooler
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good small reference book
The problem with reviewing a reference manual is that you don't read the thing: you refer to it (unless you're a professional reviewer), so it's going to take quite a lot of use to... Read more
Published 14 months ago by J. Moody
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference
This is a good reference guide for those familiar with python programming or learning it. I use it as a companion to a learning guide to find more information about the topics. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Wayne
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Provided you've already learned Python, this is the perfect pocket reference. Not just a list - actually quite readable. Not for beginners, though.
Published 14 months ago by Nigel2357
5.0 out of 5 stars Super good book
Absolute very good and easy to use and understand.
Now my raspberry pi is going to be my best mini pc
Published 17 months ago by Ib Uhrskov
5.0 out of 5 stars Python in your pocket
Great reference book and handy size means easy to have on your person, won't teach you python but great to remind you of the syntax of the language
Published 20 months ago by sean
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