Learning Python, 5th Edition
Powerful Object-Oriented Programming
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: June 2013
Pages: 1600

Get a comprehensive, in-depth introduction to the core Python language with this hands-on book. Based on author Mark Lutz’s popular training course, this updated fifth edition will help you quickly write efficient, high-quality code with Python. It’s an ideal way to begin, whether you’re new to programming or a professional developer versed in other languages.

Complete with quizzes, exercises, and helpful illustrations, this easy-to-follow, self-paced tutorial gets you started with both Python 2.7 and 3.3— the latest releases in the 3.X and 2.X lines—plus all other releases in common use today. You’ll also learn some advanced language features that recently have become more common in Python code.

  • Explore Python’s major built-in object types such as numbers, lists, and dictionaries
  • Create and process objects with Python statements, and learn Python’s general syntax model
  • Use functions to avoid code redundancy and package code for reuse
  • Organize statements, functions, and other tools into larger components with modules
  • Dive into classes: Python’s object-oriented programming tool for structuring code
  • Write large programs with Python’s exception-handling model and development tools
  • Learn advanced Python tools, including decorators, descriptors, metaclasses, and Unicode processing
Table of Contents
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oreillyLearning Python, 5th Edition
 
3.7

(based on 25 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

75%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Helpful examples (14)
  • Easy to understand (13)
  • Well-written (12)
  • Accurate (11)
  • Concise (5)

Cons

  • Repetitive (3)

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (14)
  • Novice (13)
  • Student (12)
  • Expert (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (10), Designer (5), Sys admin (5), Maker (4), Educator (3)

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A complete reference

By Tom

from Montreal, Quebec, Canada

About Me Developer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 5th Edition:

    I strongly recommend this book for those who want to learn Python throughoutly not only for mastering the language syntax of Python but also for understanding the concepts of Python.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Excellent book with a well-considered structure

    By Chris

    from Oxfordshire

    About Me Rresearcher

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Expert
      • Intermediate
      • Novice

      Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 5th Edition:

      This is a superb and comprehensive book, but not easy to carry around given its size. However O'Reilly do allow an upgrade, to purchase the book in electronic form. So I keep that on my laptop, and in parallel with the excellent search capabilities of Adobe Reader, I can quickly solve any python queries. The electronic version is also in colour, which is a nice touch.

      (11 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      2 Years later.. Still best used as a weapon or a surfboard..

      By two_years_older_monty

      from San Jose, CA

      About Me Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 5th Edition:

          I have been owning this book for 2 years now.. I never managed to reach the end of it..

          I have read many big books, but the problem with this book is not just the page count, but the unbearable redundancy.. It reaches a level where you eventually just want to throw the book out of a window (God forbid, that might cause mass destruction)..

          Sometimes, to explain a trivial concept (like explaining what an object is), it might take many pages of re-phrased paragraphs making the reader fall into deep sleep and sometimes deep depression..

          If you want to quickly learn Python, just read the "hard way" series.. simple, and to the point tutorials, and it has even more details than this book (despite its size, it has a very little details of some major topics like regular expressions for example)..

          Please if you insist to try reading this book, get the ebook first, not the hard copy.

          I am already a Python programmer, but I give up finishing learning python!

          (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          not focusing on concepts

          By Pierluigi

          from Bern

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Authoritative

          Cons

          • Repetitive
          • Verbose

          Best Uses

            Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 5th Edition:

            The author is very knowledgeable, but a) he doesn't focuses on concepts, and goes too much into details without really explaining you the essence b) way too verbose c) way too repetitive

            I found that most post on stackoverflow explain Python concepts much better than this book... I am really sorry I have wasted so much time on it....

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            2.0

            Pedagogy

            By stargrazer

            from Colorado

            Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 5th Edition:

            I agree that the author does not understand a student's point of view. Few teachers remember how they learned a subject nor appreciate the difference between the taxonomy of a subject and the acquisition of the knowledge behind the structure. As Socrates said, " ...there is the faculty of division according to the natural ideas or members, not breaking any part as a bad carver might.", Phaedrus, @ p. 430, Jowett trans. I bought the book, it is helpful, I got my Comp. & Mgt. Sci. - Sys. Analysis Degree in 1981, then went to Law School, so I didn't program for more than a year. I'm trying to catch up to some minute degree. I respect Mr. Lutz, but would not commend this tome to others.

            (7 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

             
            1.0

            Not a "Learning" Book

            By h follmann

            from NJ

            About Me Developer, Sys Admin

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Concise

            Cons

            • Difficult to understand

            Best Uses

            • Intermediate

            Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 5th Edition:

            Not only is the text too repetitive the author also fails to understand to put himself into the student's mind. As an example I will use Chapter 26, OOP: The Big Picture. While he fails to explain the core concepts of OOP he goes into detail about how python handles lookups of attribute names. However he has not introduced classes or attributes yet. AND he calls that "OOP from 30,000 Feet".
            The author fails to build from the bottom up a solid understanding of python and from there expand to detailed insides of the language. Instead he often starts with confusing details before he even covers the basics.
            However there is a lot of useful information in this book. Make sure to pick it up as your second book though.

            (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Best Python Book I've Seen

            By JSMc

            from Southern New Mexico

            About Me Exercising My Mind, Retired Programmer, Staying Current

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • In Depth Explanations
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 5th Edition:

              As a retired programmer I've tried to keep my hand in using some more current languages. I have over the years picked up several books on Python because the power and flexibility of the language seems very attractive.

              The approach that Mark Lutz takes in presenting Python is the first I've found that is compatible with my personal style of learning. I think that I really appreciate that he builds the language slowly starting with the basics, but at the same time lets the student look under the hood to understand how and why the various elements work as they do.

              I have seen a criticism of the author's often giving a brief explanation of some feature of Python and then saying it will be covered in greater depth in a future chapter. I do not find this to be at all problematic or repetitive. I believe finding out that the current element has more depth which will be explained when the student has the perspective to fully understand it is valuable.

              One thing I would recommend about this book is to get the ebook version. I got the ebook because it was cheaper, but after seeing the size and weight of the print version I am happy I did. It is nice to be able to work along with examples on the computer, and it is much more practical to work in two window than find a place for a 5 pound book on the desk.

              (0 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Good for Know Python

              By favendano

              from Santiago, Chile

              Verified Buyer

              Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 5th Edition:

              Some things are not intuitive, then, this book have many ways to learn and do this language useful and operative.

              (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Ok...but too verbose

              By Ofev

              from Mex

              About Me Educator

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to understand

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Intermediate
                • Novice

                Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 5th Edition:

                It covers all you need!!! But sometime I felt that the author spent too much time talking about what is coming, and not the current topic

                (0 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Learning Python, 5th Edition

                By Clay

                from Minneapolis, MN

                About Me Educator, Maker

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Concise
                • Well-written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Expert
                  • Intermediate
                  • Student

                  Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 5th Edition:

                  Haven't really had time to peruse too deeply but looks good/concise.

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