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The Quick Python Book Paperback – 12 Nov 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Manning (12 Nov. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884777740
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884777745
  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 2.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,315,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 April 2001
Format: Paperback
Extremely well written. The guys who wrote this book have a very easy-to-understand and educative use of english. The content is for people who have some programming experience and people who know programming and want to try Python. The design layout of the text and paragraphs is excellent.
I now have four python books in my shelf and Python Essential Reference on my desk. All books are very different. To compare this book with Learning Python (not too bad) this book is much better.
Well, the truth is that this is the best nerd book I've ever read. Not because of its content, but the english in which it is written.
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Format: Paperback
Title says it all. Published in 1999, this book covers Python 1.5 (I think), but none of the 2.x series.

That being said, it does give a good grounding in the core Python basics. The explanation of slicing, for example, is very clear and enlightening, as is the chapter on calling functions.

The book also covers DCOM (MS Windows interface) if you're into that sort of thing, so you can do some interesting interactions between Python and, say, Excel.

So all in all, a good book but badly in need of an update for Python 2.5.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best programming books I've read. Targetted at experienced programmers who are new to Python, it is pitched at exactly the right level to enable you to quickly learn the language. It also has an excellent reference section, guaranteeing that the book will continue to be useful even after you have learned the language.
It is very well written and logically organised. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Best Language Book Since Kernighan & Ritchie! 27 April 2002
By Sinclair - Published on
Format: Paperback
Excuse my enthusiasm, but this is one of the best software books I've ever read and I've been programming professionally for 16 years. I wanted to learn Python as a replacement for Perl so I bought all the O'Reilly books, which were OK but too chatty and disorganized for my taste. I picked up Quick Python and found myself reading it like a bestseller and I still reread it. I was amazed at its consistent clarity, depth and friendliness with lots of tight examples in a visually pleasing format. The authors don't just cover the material, they also let you in on the subtleties and gotchas that go unmentioned in a reference like Beazley's Python Essential Reference (which I also own but for me Quick Python works better most of the time).
Furthermore in order to explain Python well, the authors provide astute explanations of general programming topics such as exception handling, regular expressions, and the pros and cons of the current crop of popular programming languages. They also bring in experts, even Guido Van Rossum (the creator of Python), to write chapters on more advanced topics like JPython and Zope.
My only caveat is that this is not the best place for beginners to start--Lutz & Ascher's Learning Python would be better--but it is a good book for beginners to own and dip into as they develop.
Other reviewers have mentioned that Quick Python's coverage of Tkinter (the main Python GUI package) is thin and that's true, though somewhat understandable since Tkinter is quite a beast and whole books have been written that don't cover Tkinter or Tk all that well. I would dearly love to see Harms & McDonald bring their accessible, thorough-going approach to Tkinter and its extension, Python Megawidgets.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Essential reading for Python beginners and enthusiasts 14 Nov. 2000
By Cheridy Jollie - Published on
Format: Paperback
(Please note this is written for the "second corrected printing 2000" which is a great improvement over earlier printings.)
Easy to get into, requires some previous knowledge of programming. Written in a clear, conversational style with good examples the reader can follow along with interactively.
Introduction grounds the reader with some background, and a comparison between python and other languages which includes a section on types of applications python is and is not ideally suited for.
Covers essentials including control structures, data structures, exceptions, and using the filesystem from within applications. From there, scoping, functions, classes, modules, and packages are explained to demonstrate how to break up your application into logical pieces. Also covered: GUI development using Tk and alternatives.
The final 200 pages comprises an advanced topic section and an excellent 50 page reference, as well as a well-organized and cross-referenced index that has proved consistently useful.
Highlights of Advanced Topics:
* Differences between scripting on Unix vs Windows, including how to make your scripts completely cross-platform
* JPython, including using JPython from Java
* Using Zope (popular open source application server/portal toolkit written in and extendable using Python)
* Extending Python with C and C++
* Using Python with COM
* Python and CGI; HTML generation
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A "must have" book for python programmers 6 Feb. 2000
By Michael W. Balk - Published on
Format: Paperback
The book lives up to its title. You should be able to start using python after you read through the core language features, and this should take only a few days (about 200 pages).
The book contains many code examples. This is a strength of the book, since the examples together with their analyses really help clarify the concepts.
The remainder of the book discusses advanced topics and advanced languages features. This part of the book is a very good overview of what python can do in real world projects.
The appendix contains a quick reference guide which I found very useful.
The overall appearance of the book is outstanding. The choice of typefaces makes the book very readable. Margin notes are provided which makes it easy to locate a topic or to quickly review the essential elements of a chapter.
The book contains a large number of errata, but most are quite easy to spot. An errata sheet is available.
Despite the errors in the text, I still give the book a high rating. It's the type of book I want to keep close at hand when I'm writing python code.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A textbook can then really be useful:-) 8 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
A useful, inspiring textbook, and with for a computer book good font choices, so that one really likes to open it. It has a lot of typoos which is bothering, but it is good enough to let the author still pass. The reference at the end of the book is particularly useful, because modules and their methods are presented in an order, so that one finds them, when one needs them. I think the book starts entry level and guides quite high up. Still it's not all encompassing: For instance one needs extra material for XML programming and so on. But there are further books, like "XML Processing with Python", "Python Programming on Win32" or the best Python reference ever: "Python essential Reference" published by New Rider, all to get on amazon dot com, of course. When I have to recommend a Python book to a newcommer, and I also want, that he will become good fast, then he'll get this quick Python book. (And I have proof, that it works:-).
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
The best PYTHON book to learn from I've found so far. 1 Feb. 2001
By John Gabriel - Published on
Format: Paperback
First, a word about myself - retired scientist (almost 70) who has been doing computer science since 1956, and dabbling in theoretical physics and electrical engineering since about 1950. I suddenly needed to integrate INTUIT and MICROSOFT products to to do a job without human intervention in order to meet needs for audit. Since I have worked mainly in UNIX since 1972 or so, and in LINUX since Yggdrasil. This was a challenge. I bought several books, and found that this one, and "The Quick Python Book" allowed me to learn the language well enough start system planning in a couple of days, and I expect to become fluent in the language shortly.
Why is this true? First because of the skill Guido van Rossum used to make the language expressive, and yet orthogonal and regular (unlike natural language such as English or German), and second (this being most important to the book's usefulnees) the outstanding skills of both authors as teachers, and as writers. I do not think I have learned so quickly and easily from a computer science book since the classic by Kernighan and Plauger. There really is not much more to say. Because I am not yet a fluent user of the language, I do not know enough to recognise errors of detail (if there are many or any). But the book achieves its object of teaching a great deal about a powerful and useful language, without using too few words, or too many, while continuing to hold my interest, and not wasting my time.
If the reader has no previous experience with computer languages or with programming, then another offering from Amazon, teaching PYTHON for hobbyists and others, is more suitable. However, I would not hesitate to say that PYTHON is a suitable first programming language for young people who have a mentor.
If extensive use of the enormous number of PYTHON libraries is contemplated, then a roadmap to their capabilities is needed in addition, such as "The Python Handbook" and, of course the volumes of documentation distributed with PYTHON are needed, but only as a last resort before examination of the source, if the written material becomes confusing.
I am sure that there are others who learn in ways different from mine, and they will have different preferences. But I doubt that any reader with this book in hand, a PYTHON interpreter running at their keyboard and display, and some reasonable understanding of what software really is, will take very long to become a productive member of a team who are using PYTHON.
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