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on 2 June 2013
Programming Python has a lot of knowledge inside it. The trouble is, it will bore you to death getting that knowledge out. This guy is anything but succinct. He rambles and rambles to get his point across. I'ts admirable in that he wants to leave no stone unturned when explaining how Python works but his conversational style is that of a boring old school teacher. You can't even skim over paragraphs to get to the important bits because the nuggets of info are all nested in this rampant verbosity. I have fallen asleep many evenings with this gigantic lump of a book in my lap from mind numbing boredom.

Unfortunately though. This is the only book that I have found that contains such a comprehensive lesson in Python at an intermediate level. So while it is quite poorly written, if you want a book to take you beyond the basics then this is the only comprehensive choice.
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on 27 December 2010
It has been a long time coming, but finally this book has been updated. With the 4th edition comes a big change. This edition has been updated to ONLY cover Python 3.x. This is a great book and will make a great addition if you want to learn more about developing applications with Python.

You should note however, that this book is not a Python reference guide. It is written primarily as a advanced tutorial that is a follow up to the Learning Python book. Therefore it does not cover any aspects of core Python. For that you would be better of looking at Learning Python.

This book is over 1600 pages long. This makes it particularly heavy. I do not recommend that this book be kept anywhere that it can fall from. It will hurt if you happen to get in its way.

There are a couple of omissions that surprised me. In the chapter on GUI programming. I expected there would be more on using either PyGTK or PyQt. They are mentioned, but that is it. tkInter is covered instead. Personally I have not seen TK used for quite some time. Most of the applications that I have seen use PyGTK (mostly because I use Ubuntu). Another omission is that there is no mention of Quickly. Which is a framework that allows you to develop applications quickly.

Please note: I did receive a free copy of this book via the O'Reilly Blogger review programme.
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on 24 August 2014
Nearly impossible to use,, this book rambles on and on, going over subjects many times, adding in extra , snazzy bits of code that shows how savvy the writer is, and have to be untangled to find out what you want. this takes many hours to find out the simplest things.
The index is useless,
This book shows that the worst person to write a how-to book is a person who KNOWS the subject and has no idea how to teach or even organise their thoughts sufficiently enough to be readable.
Having read many books on programming , this one leaves me none the wiser.
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on 26 July 2011
Programming Python is one of these book you can kill with when dropped from appropriate height. I am not Python expert, rather casual Python programer, I focus rather on Java-Python bindings and I was looking for a book that I can use as a reference point. Python Programming covers quite a loot of Python related aspects of the language, is well structured, and covers most recent Python release (version 3).

Programing Python is not a typical programming book - famous "Hello world" occurs for the first time at page 129. It's more Python
reference book than programming book. Mark covers many, typical, issues that most programers will face during programming. What's good about this book are simple, straight and pragmatic examples - just the essence. However, sweet things have sometimes bitter taste when not served well. What I don't like within the book are huge code listings. I fell like putting 20 pages of code straight into text is simply waste of space. I prefer to use external resources (CD, source codes from ftp) instead of reading the code within the book (it's like going back to 90's). What I miss in the book is Python/Java integration. I use Python within Java and would like to read more regarding this topic the way Python/C integration is described. Would I recommend this book? If you are looking for Python reference - yes, if you are looking for Java-Python compendium - no.
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on 11 October 2015
Extremely verbose, everything is said three or four times. It does contain virtually everything you might want to know about Python, but the book is really difficult to use because of its monumental size, weight and really bad paper quality. The book will literally fall apart under its own weight if you are not careful!
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on 15 February 2014
Not bedtime reading by anybody's way of assessing that attribute. But it *is* comprehensive and it is detailed. By the end of the book you know everything you need to know and a fair bit you'll probably never, ever need. So not only can you program in Python when you've read all this, but you can also bore your friends down the pub with your knowledge of the bits of Python nobody cares about! Still four stars, though. An impressive piece of work.
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on 15 October 2013
If you liked "Learning Python" by the same author then you will like this book also. It is a thick book with over 1500 pages but it has to be as it covers quite a lot of topics in depth. I have not read all the chapters but haven't had to - I do this on a "has need" basis. The chapters I have read give a firm foundations to understanding the various topics e.g. Systems Programming and Parallel Systems Tools give a good overall understanding, and clearly explained code examples, which is normally enough for me to understand the topic and get the job done. People have complained that the book is too thick but I would rather have too much information than too little and it serves as a good reference book where it is easy to flick through the pages, and is easier on the eye, as opposed to continuously browsing the web for the same material. I write quite a few python scripts and for me it is invaluable and is the book I reach out to first before looking elsewhere. There are notable absences e.g. i would have liked to see a chapter on logging and pyserial but this would make a thick book even thicker and these topics are covered quite well by the web anyway. So, overall 5 stars from me, especially as the book price is very reasonable!
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VINE VOICEon 11 February 2014
This is over 1500 pages long. Its heavy and doesn't sit well on the desk and is uncomfortable to hold.
The material is excellent but there is just too much in a single volume. If they do another edition they should consider making it 2 or even 3 volumes and splitting by theme. For example the Tkinter GUI section is 400 pages long - easily a book in itself. The networking section is around 300 pages, again another book. I've owned the first 3 editions of this book but it's now so big and cumbersome I would think twice before buying another copy, its approaching the point where its too big to use. A strange criticism for a book that is technically so full of goodies. But what's the point of technical excellence if nobody can read it?
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on 20 November 2014
As others have said - it needs editing to reduce repetition.
However, it does make a solid introduction.
Not for those who want to read 20 pages and get going.
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on 5 May 2013
Real value for money.I have waited ages to find a book that gives me all the information I need to know,this is it.Highly recommended.
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