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Practical Python offers a highly useful guide to the Python programming language. In disarmingly readable prose, author Magnus Lie Hetland guides you through those concepts of most importance to the budding Python developer.
Following a succinct overview of the installation process, Hetland brings you up to speed regarding the general programming precepts common to every high-level language, including datatypes, conditionals and looping, abstractions, and modularity. Notably, Hetland takes great care to provide a thorough introduction to Python's potentially confusing datatype offering, including lists, tuples, and dictionaries, providing numerous examples aimed toward familiarizing you with their subtle, yet important differences.
Primed with the language's foundational knowledge, you'll then be introduced to Python's file-handling, database, GUI, and string-handling capabilities. Additionally, Hetland offers an excellent review of Python's object-oriented, functional, and exception-handling capabilities. All chapters are peppered with references to Python's useful built-in functions, which is done with the intention of demonstrating the considerable features offered by the default Python distribution.
Hetland devotes the second half of the book to project development, taking great care to choose a series of ten increasingly complex applications that are of timely and wide-ranging interest to burgeoning and expert developers alike. Project focus includes automated document conversion, newsgroup administration, graphical PDF document generation, remote document maintenance, the creation of a peer-to-peer system with XML-RPC, database integration, and GUI and game development.
Distribution: Gentoo x86_64; Gentoo PPC; FreeBSD; OS X 10.9.4
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9
Well written, easy to understand, very useful
Monty Python references in the examples are getting old, but that's probably just me.
This is a great book. Written by the author of "Instant Hacking" on the Python website, this book is an excellant introduction to programming in Python, and OOP in general.
The first half of the book introduces Python and progresses through topics such as datatypes, working with strings, functions, flow-control, classes and OOP, and file manipulation. Also mentioned are some of the more useful of Pythons modules in the standard library.
The second half of the book is what makes it stand above the rest: It has a series of 10 projects that put the knowledge you have learned to practical use. Each project is described from a prototype to a final working implementation, then describes ways for the reader to improve on the project independently. The projects range from a text to html converter, CLI P2P client/server, chat server, remote CGI editing, GUI programming with Python, and even a video game.
This book also serves as a decent reference after you have the basics down.