6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
my impressions of this book,
This review is from: Programming in Python 3: A Complete Introduction to the Python Language (Developer's Library) (Paperback)I don't know what to think about this book... The subtitle of this book is 'A complete introduction to the Python language' but I must say with this book I realised how many different meanings this can carry.
Don't get me wrong, this book DOES introduce you to Python 3.0 but it's more like learning about a foreign cuisine by reading recipes instead of visiting restaurants. An experienced chef may know what a certain combination of ingredients will taste like, but a mere mortal is left puzzled. The book shows you concepts, ideas, new things in the language BUT you don't actually get to write anything interesting. The book assumes you already know what you'd use a particular concept for and it doesn't bother with practical examples.
This was not how I had imagined a 'complete introduction'. This 'complete introduction' also requires a prior programming experience (at least a semester of programming in any language I'd say). And some of the later chapters in the book are a so superficial <and|or> impractically explained they're not even worth reading. e.g.: networking
"Chapter 13: Introduction to GUI programming" starts with author explaining how bad Tkinter is compared to QT or GTK and then continues introducing you to Tk. Why on earth would you first discourage people from using something and then write a chapter about how to use it?
I'm giving the book 3 stars but I can imagine that for an experienced programmer wishing to give Python a go, this book may be just the right thing and they'd give it 4-5.
note: Please click on the comments below see the discussion about this review.
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Initial post: 17 Mar 2009 17:54:07 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Aug 2009 08:01:33 BDT
M. N. Summerfield says:
The statement, "it doesn't bother with practical examples", is simply untrue. The book is packed with examples. And the examples are designed to show the concepts and ideas in practical use. Yes, the book does require some prior programming experience---and says so in the Introduction. The networking chapter does assume a knowledge of the very basics---the book is about Python after all and to teach networking on top would make it much larger without really adding to it. The same is true of the coverage of threading.
As for chapter 13, yes tkinter is very poor compared with wxPython, PyGtk, and PyQt---but unlike the better alternatives tkinter is supplied with Python as standard and some people are not able to install third party libraries so must use what's available. So that's why tkinter is covered---and the others aren't covered because at the time of writing (and that's still true today), the others aren't yet available for Python 3. [Update: PyQt has now been ported to Python 3, but the case remains that some people have no choice but to use what comes with Python---tkinter, even though all the other alternatives are better.]
In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2009 15:21:57 BDT
M. Kovac says:
While writing my review I tried hard to show that that's the impression the book made on ME. To ME, the examples/exercises were not very practical. As I pointed out at the end, to an experienced programmer this may be just what they need. (No need for inspirational enjoyable projects.) To ME, the book felt dry. I like seeing my progress reflected in practical useful things I create - this motivates ME to continue. I will edit the review asking the reader to read this discussion as well.
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