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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About the Author
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oreillyLearning Python, 5th Edition
 
3.8

(based on 28 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

78%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Helpful examples (17)
  • Easy to understand (15)
  • Well-written (15)
  • Accurate (13)
  • Concise (6)

Cons

  • Repetitive (3)

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (16)
  • Novice (16)
  • Student (15)
  • Expert (8)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (13), Designer (5), Sys admin (5), Maker (4), Educator (3)

Reviewed by 28 customers

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4.0

A thorough way to learn Python

By PatCraft

from Adelaide, South Australia

About Me Developer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

  • Too Much Detail - Basics

Best Uses

  • Expert
  • Intermediate
  • Novice
  • Student

Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 5th Edition:

Used to learn Python from scratch, as my main reference resource, to the extent I knew enough to gain employment writing Python code. The subject content can jump around a bit - you need to look in several sections, but overall a robust and effective conduit for learning Python

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The best programming book I so far read!

By Lucifer

from Amsterdam

About Me Developer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Both Python 2x And 3x
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 5th Edition:

    This book is by far the best programming book I ever read, and so far I read a lot of programming books.

    It took me a little over a year, to finish this book and yet I remember the majority of what I've read. This due to the way the author has setup this book it repeats stuff over and over that it kind of gets hard coded in your brain.

    This book is very suitable for people new to programming as well as experts, it's accurate, concise, well written, easy to understand has very good examples and the author has some great humor. This book doesn't just only cover the Python syntax, but it also teaches you the Python concepts.

    Another great pro about this book is that it covers both Python 2.X and Python 3.X. So you get to see both of the worlds. The author often explains the differences between those two, by doing so you get a much beter understanding of the way how Python is setup in general.

    I wouldn't recommend this book to people, who need to learn Python in matter of week. This book is suited for the people who want to master Python thoroughly.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Mixed feelings

    By Edelman

    from Moscow

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 5th Edition:

      It's a great book for those who are completely new to programming, other than that you'll find it extremely long and boring.

      (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.

          (13 of 15 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!

              (6 of 7 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....

                (4 of 5 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.

                (8 of 12 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.

                (6 of 7 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.

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