Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8
This is a weighty tome, both in terms of its sheer size and the relatively sophisticated nature of its coverage. The second edition has been rewritten for more advanced audience -- and they really mean it. It is not an introduction to the language, nor is it a reference volume. Instead, it assumes that it audience has considerable familarity with Python and leaps immediately into some of the more complicated nuances of using it to develop software. Not scripts. Software.
The body of Programming Python is presented in five sections: "System Interfaces," "GUI Programming," "Internet Scripting," "Assorted Topics," and "Integration." Each section is intended to cover topics and techniques to assist programmers working on projects of considerable scope and complexity.The extensive coding examples reflect the ambition of the text: instead of "hello world"-style stuff, Progamming Python offers listings and discussion of such projects as a text editor, a file server, and an e-mail client, among others.
As a web developer with a somewhat casual interest in Python, this is way more book than I really need. When I make the jump from using Python for simple sorting and administrative tasks and decide to write GUI programs, however, I'll be well ahead of the game. In addition, the "Assorted Topics" section is dense with interesting ideas and language features for anyone planning to using Python for less ambitious goals. It includes chapters on techniques to deal with persistent data, defining, traversing, and searching data structures, and using regular expressions that are especially worth reading, even for the casual scripter.
Just make sure you've read a basic book on Python before you pick up this one.