16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars
Painfully slow, 23 Mar. 2009
After reading 2/3 of this book I was tearing my hair out. It fails to address either beginners or experience programmers properly. I fall into the latter group, being a perl developer of 10 years.
For beginners it doesn't explain any programming concepts. So you will be learning python features without grasping what purpose they fill.
It shows you very methodically the basic forms, constructs and features of the language but not why or how to use them. A good book will show you these features in context early on and walk you through the example code for real use cases highlighting the feature it is showing.
It should not really be comparing why feature x is differnt in python to C or worrying the reader about future changes to the language. It should give the reader just enough information to start playing with the language by showing the reader basic programs, explaining the concepts and providing good exercises that encourage the reader to think like a programmer.
Experienced programmers will feel like they are wasting their time I as did. I'm reading Core python now which is considerably better but even that could be arranged better. I'd prefer a summary of data types, conditionals and looping and then get right to the meat and potatoes of functional and oo programming, followed by a more detailed reference. Detailed tables of of datatypes, file open() options should not be at the beginning, they should be in a reference section.
I got a bit sick of all the monty python references too although it did made me laugh when it asked me what my favourite colour was in one of the exercises - but that unfortunately was it's only redeeming feature.