Python in a Nutshell (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly))
This book offers Python programmers one place to look when they need help remembering or deciphering the syntax of this open source language and its many powerful but scantily documented modules. This comprehensive reference guide makes it easy to look up the most frequently needed information--not just about the Python language itself, but also the most frequently used pa...more
Paperback, 695 pages
Published July 21st 2006 by O'Reilly Media
(first published March 2003)
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I admit that I had tried to learn Python by reading this book, while it seems that this is not its intended purpose. Still, even though it classifies itself as an exhaustive reference for seasoned Pythonistas, this tome starts by covering all the basics of the language like its history, most commonly used implementations and a praise for its community and a great sense of humor it possesses - information which is hardly useful for the above-mentioned audience. Despite advertised humorousness, Py...more
An encyclopedic book on Python that deals with many practical Python applications in addition to the ins and outs of the core language itself. To me, it is one of the most 'beautiful' Python books out there in terms of content and presentation. The book is well-suited for beginners as well as for those with some familiarity with the language; experienced programmers may find the text a bit verbose. The "Networking and Web Programming" section is concise yet informative. On the whole, this is a m...more
Nov 10, 2007 Louis rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Any programmer using Python
In this Alex Martelli covers the Python language and the standard library. Now, in most books of this type, the typical comment is "all the information is on the web." Well, in this case, no. For each section, Martelli opens with a brief essay explaining the purpose of the module and an explaination of what problem the module was trying to solve. And these essays are a great introduction to some of the details of computer science and programming (yes, two topics). There are some things that I ne...more
The content is quite good, but I don't learn well the way he presents material -- it's rather heavy on the theory, with very little in the way of example. Of course, it's meant to be "in a nutshell," so it shouldn't be long-winded. Nevertheless, I would expect a book about a programming language "in a nutshell" to be heavy on application and the features that are commonly used rather than cover every language feature, regardless of how useful it is.
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