29 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Can that spam, please!,
This review is from: Learning Python (Paperback)
I'd like to balance out the reviews here by offering this book the minimum score. The book advertises itself as being appropriate for a first-time programmer, but honestly it's nothing of the sort, and I'm not even a complete first-timer.
The first two or three chapters are decent enough, and chapter 3 introduces you to the use of modules, and you're writing little programs that do something, and you're feeling good about things... But then the four chapters after that are little more than a geeks' list of features of the Python language (and what makes it different from or similar to C). There is not one single practical example of a program that actually does something useful. It's all just showing what each feature does at the command line. Utterly uninspiring...
And all the references to the C language - "this is a bit like arrays in C". Are you a beginner? Do you know C? Suppose not... Not for a beginner, at all.
And the Monty Python references... Well, if you didn't guess that this language was put together by Monty Python fans (in my naivety, I didn't), you'll know it after dredging through a chapter of this book. Every single example (that's the way it seems, at least) uses a string like "ni!", "always look on the bright side of life", "print 'dead' + 'parrot'", "I'm a lumberjack and..." OK, you get the idea. Please get a life, lads.
Or are you just trying to preserve the Python membership club as an exclusively "Geeks Only" institution?
I've given up on this book for now. Maybe there'll come a day when I'll wear a tee-shirt that says "SPAM", and I'll have nothing but praise, but If you're a beginner, and you want to save a bit of money, I'd suggest looking at Josh Cogliati's online tutorial. It's a PDF, so you can print it up nicely. He does little proggies that you can work through, and see what the POINT of the thing is. I don't suppose that he goes all the way with the thing (as he says at the end, he lost interest in writing more), but what he did do was pretty handy. No doubt there's quite a lot of other good stuff that you can find on the web. It's bound to be better than this totally unimaginative book. I guess that I'll just be learning as much as I can from Cogliati and other web sources, picking up the pocket reference book, and throwing this book in the same place that I put the spam.
Unless somebody wants to buy it off me? Ni!
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Initial post: 12 Oct 2008 23:20:19 BDT
A. Christoffersen says:
While this review was helpfull, please dont "balance out the reviews here by offering this book the minimum score." in the future. Your review would have been more helpful if I knew how you actually felt.
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