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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book, 12 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner (Paperback)
I've had a great deal of programming experience - I started with punch cards and Fortran!! I've also programmed in a plethora of other languages (BASIC, Pascal, various flavours of C and a few languages I can't even remember). My last serious language was Borland Delphi (Object Pascal), which I loved. My licence was for Delphi 7 - a little out of date for my hardware.

I needed to update to a language that offered similar possibilities to Delphi - OOP, database applications, web applications, GUIs, simulations. and just general programs that would let me calculate difficult stuff like 2+2. I didn't want to pay a giant licence fee so I looked around to see what was available and Python seemed to be what I wanted.

Since I had some programming experience, I actually started with Mark Lutz's book "Programming Python". One of the reviewers of that book had a similar background to me in terms of programming experience. He stated that he had hacked his way through Mark's book (my summary of his words), so I decided to try that. Result...I could have done it, but I too felt that I was having to hack my way through a bit of jungle. So, I decided to take a step back and try a different approach.

Don't get me wrong...I strongly suspect Mark's book is a perfect SECOND Python book and I look forward to giving it a great review when I've worked my way through it (notice I didn't say "hacked my way through it").

So, I bought Michael's book. And I'm delighted with it. It introduces subjects in a simple manner e.g. constructors and private methods in a program that contains just a few lines of code!!??!! OOP programming is difficult for some people to get their head around (I wonder if it's easier for people with no non-OOP background as opposed to us old hacks who didn't even know what an OOP was until we publicly embarrassed ourselves). But it also gets you into the basement of programming - loops, lists, reading and writing files etc etc. Brill!

The writing style is terrific. It's light, humourous (in my part of the world, "humour" comes with a "u" ... or is that AN "u"?) and sometimes a little self-depracating. But it's fun to read...chapters are bite size...the examples are excellent.

And Python is a truly great language in which to program (or "to program in" if you're not a grammar Nazi. Its developer has been classified "Benevolent Dictator for Life". What more can you ask?

One minor criticism...it would be nice to have an exercise project/thread which started early in the book and developed throughout the book. By that I mean a thread which stands alone from the text. The exercises at the end of each chapter modify the author's code or present fairly simple new projects. It would be nice if readers could develop a program which is not related to the text/exercises but builds succesively chapter by chapter. Of course, programmers with experience can do this for themselves, but it might be handy for newbies.

In summary, if you are interested in programming in Python, buy this book. It's a great book.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Dec 2011 11:23:49 GMT
Can someone please tell me how to find the supporting download files from Appendix A, py3e_source.zip and py3e_software. I went to the website stated in the book and these are no downloads available. I feel ripped off that the website is useless and they couldn't even supply a CD with those files on with the book.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jan 2012 15:43:41 GMT
great amphibian, there does seem to be some problem with the URL in the book. After a bit of fossicking around, I managed to find the files. Just not in the place I originally found them. Try

http://www.delmarlearning.com/companions/content/1435455002/downloads/index.asp?isbn=1435455002

That should take you to a download page.

Cheers

Joseph
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