Learning Python
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Learning Python

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  1,081 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Portable, powerful, and a breeze to use, Python is the popular open source object-oriented programming language used for both standalone programs and scripting applications. Python is considered easy to learn, but there's no quicker way to mastery of the language than learning from an expert teacher. This edition of "Learning Python" puts you in the hands of two expert tea...more
ebook, 624 pages
Published December 23rd 2003 by O'Reilly Media (first published 1999)
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OK, this is a computer programming textbook, not typically one would review, however there are several good reasons to read this book:

1.) At the very top of the front cover, it has the words "Powerful Object-Oriented Programming," which leads to my new favorite CS acronym.
2.) The computer language is called Python, yet there's a rat on the cover. Now *that's* ballsy.
3.) The language itself isn't named after the reptile. It's named after Monty Python. Really. All the examples in the book have to...more
I'm disappointed with the start of this book. very slow at getting to the actual python, and poorly tries tries to set a backgroung knowlegde for the reader in a shallow and rushed method.
I was not pleased to read a comment that Mark Lutz lacks the funding and resources to complete his code testing against serveral OS's, including the free Linux! and seems to focus purely on the over-priced Microsoft Windows.

I don't think this book is ideal for the new programmer who is picking Python as their f...more
Frederic Masi
The book does not assume you know programming or oop its very clear and you can learn allot with it.

The only problem its that for you to know all the python stuff (not talking about becoming a guru) you will need to read the entire book and that takes allot of time.

Another important point is that although the book focus is on python3 I for example program for python2.x and had no problem regarding this.
Still reading, up to the end of the debugging chapter. Here are some thoughts:

- Very complete.

- Very repetitive.

- Not good for learners. This should be read for deeper knowledge once the basics of the language are understood. I'd never recommend this to someone as the book to use for learning Python or learning to program.

- Very repetitive.

- Too many forward references.

- Very repetitive.

- Far too few exercises. Lots of small examples are given, as well as several questions at the end of each cha...more
Andreea Lucau
I liked that the author makes comparison to other programming languages (like C or C++), it really helped me. The book covers most of the Python knowledge required for getting starting and having some idea of what is going on. What I disliked was that the rhythm is loo slow sometimes - better for beginners but it gets boring for programmers that are familiar with other languages (especially OOP).
Girihs Vyaf
This is a great book, however there are many things I didn't like about this book including:

Too much introduction
Very less exercises

I have been used to reading books like:

C Programming Language - Brian W. Kernighan.,
The C Programming Language - Bjarne Stroustrup, etc

So I like Books which show how to do things other way around........
But this is not the case with Learning Python.........

Yet Another Suggestion could be
A suggested route to learn python would be through reading the official...more
Learning Python provides a comprehensive overview of the language. All of its features are explained in great detail, with no shortage of examples to solidify comprehension of feature functionality and use. Great for beginners to programming, as well as those who may have experience with other languages.

I would recommend reading the official Python Tutorial first: https://docs.python.org/2/tutorial/in...

It provides a quicker overview to facilitate rapid initiation. Learning Python should really...more
Travis Young
A fantastic book for learning to program in Python or learning to program in general. It's lengthy, and somewhat repetitive, which helps to reenforce earlier concepts.
Isuru Madusanka
One of the best books on Python programming language. It almost covers whole python language syntax and API.
Akshat Tripathi
The book starts out with an in-depth introduction to the language itself-- when it was created, by who, where it is used, how the code runs in it etc. Then it gives you the preview of things to come. After having a read of about 164 pages, the book dives into some actual coding with Python!

Starts out with the very basic object types, variables and assignments (there's a whole chapter dedicated to variable assignments, expressions and the print built-in function/statement). Then it dives into so...more
Barry King

Oh, yes.


Clocking in at 2109 pages, this book beats "A Suitable Boy" as the largest tome I have ever lifted that was not a reference compendium like an encyclopaedia or dictionary. No oxen were stunned in this exercise, largely because I would be unable to lift it over my head to strike a killing blow. Actually, since it was an e-book, it may have been able to stun an electric sheep, but was not quite the wrist-breaker I make it out to be, but my GOD what a slog it was...more
May 04, 2008 Tom rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All programmers looking to learn Python
Recommended to Tom by: Amazon.com
The 3rd edition of Learning Python, by Mark Lutz, covers the Python programming language as of Python v2.5. With O'Reilly books, the Learning series is generally less sophisticated than the Programming series (ex/ Learning Perl is easier than Programming Perl). I would normally get the Programming version, but I think the Programming version that covered v2.5 was not yet released when I went shopping for a book on Python.

Anyway, I read this book from the perspective of a veteran programmer, havi...more
Disappointing waste of time. Too long, too wordy, badly organized, lots of useless Python code printing endless amounts of word SPAM, number 42 and their variations scattered with occasional Ni! exclamations. The author has an annoying habbit of introducing a new topic and then immediately dropping it saying that it's too complicated for now to fully explain it. Unfortunately I couldn't stand more than 200 pages so I don't know if the whole book is like this. One could expect to gain some practi...more
Christopher Dodd
A decent introductory book to Python. Perhaps a tad too introductory for experienced programmers. No detailed coverage is given to the Standard Library or other popular modules. But the book is up front about this from the start.

I found the redundancy a tad annoying. The author really likes to reiterate points rather than build on them. It felt like the kind of thing an editor should cut. In one case I swear I read a foot note that was almost verbatim in the text a page or two later.

I probably c...more
Ed Holden
It occurred to me recently that I should rate and list this book, even though it's technical, because I read it through from beginning to end like a good novel.

If your learning style is suited to reading, this manual is an ideal intro to Python, a wonderful programming language named after the comedy troupe Monty Python. O'Reilly programming books tend to come in trinities: the Learning book (like this one) is a comprehensive introduction, the Programming book is a bit more heavy and advanced, a...more
Peter Anderson
Much better to use the "Tutorial" document that comes with the documentation package included with each new release of Python.
Probably the best book on learning Python, but its big and HEAVY! (not a pocketbook)
Sebastian Stabinger
Good book if you want to get a comprehensive introduction into Python. Although with 1600 pages, it might be more than many people asked for.
Madre Ma
a good book for me, while some chapters are too detailed.
The first HALF of the book is ideas! Can't do anything until the second half. I, honestly, read this book to fall asleep and it works great. It's a good book, but . . .

The very end picks up a bit. The explanation of OOP is actually pretty easy for me to grasp - well written for someone like me (more abstract than concrete with a few examples to follow).

Basically, this book is not written for my style of learning. I would think, also, that it's more for someone who already plays in Python or is c...more
too fat to carry around, writing was redundant. for all its pages it didn't even have a complete language reference. the examples were tiny, isolated and of no consequence. about the opposite of a book like Kernigan and Plauger's "Software Tools In Pascal"

it was fairly thurough i guess but i still don't have a grasp on generators and iterators.

haven't finished sections on classes and exceptions yet. its lack of inspiring examples is not convincing me that classes are all that useful.
Derek Bridge
A peculiar book, neither one thing nor another. Not a Python language reference - simply not organized in a way that would make into a reference volume. But not a tutorial - too exhaustive and exhausting to be a tutorial volume. So what is it?

On the other hand, I found it useful. It made me more fully aware of the core language and its nooks and crannies. And I can only admire the dedication it must take to produce a 1500 page volume.
The author knows his stuff, writes well and has experience teaching but this is not a good book to learn Python. It may work for someone who is an absolute beginner to programming but I would not recommend it to him either.
The large number of pages (and the author trying to cover every topic) make it tough for the reader to cope with all the information received.
Bottom line: I do not recommend this book.
Ovidiu Neatu
The book is reasonable for beginners, I think a little background in OOP programming will come in handy - but it's not a necessary prerequisite.

The confusing part about it is the changes between de 2.x and 3.x versions.

Because Python is a language in continuous change I recommand trying to read the newest books on the subject - many books are becoming obsolate in 3-4 years.
Yan Zhu
I think the main draw back on this book is wordy. But this book is highly readable. I like the author's style: expose the key features and data structure of python first and then fill in the detail later. If u r completely new to python, it's good book for u, but do remember that u can jump around after finishing some beginning chapters
It's a good way to start learning Python, but after a while I started skipping around and googling how to do things. I don't think I could have learned how to start just from the web, but when I want to do a specific task, there's a chance it isn't in this book, monstrous as it is, so I usually end up on python.org.
Excellent introductory book for Python.

If you are an experienced programmer new to Python, this book may seem too verbose for you. But I'm ok with this, because I can just skip things I already know and focus on things new to me. It covers many detail of Python.
Jul 17, 2008 Leslie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: web-dev
I got this because I needed to know how to use a particular CMS that was based on Python. It doesn't apeal to me at all. I'm sure the book's fine, but I've never really even looked at it. I'm hoping someone will see this and want to exchange or borrow it...
Obviously I'd say start with the online tutorial, but then if you need a step by step walkthrough of concepts, this is the book to use. Or even the 3rd edition, it has some great exercises at the end of each section, which is what I was looking for most.
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Mark Lutz is the world leader in Python training, the author of Python's earliest and best-selling texts, and a pioneering figure in the Python community.

Mark is the author of the popular O'Reilly books Programming Python, Python Pocket Reference, and Learning Python, all currently in 4th Editions. He has been using and promoting Python since 1992, started writing Python books in 1995, and began t...more
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