Introducing Python
Modern Computing in Simple Packages
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: February 2014
Pages: 452

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With Introducing Python, Bill Lubanovic brings years of knowledge as a programmer, system administrator, and author to a book of impressive depth that’s fun to read and simple enough for non-programmers to use. Along with providing a strong foundation in the language itself, Lubanovic shows you how to use Python for a range of applications in business, science, and the arts, drawing on the rich collection of open source packages developed by Python fans.

Developed to be easy to read and maintain, Python is a boon to anyone who wants applications that are quick to write but robust enough to remain in production for the long haul. Introducing Python focuses on the current version of Python, 3.x, while including sidebars about important differences with 2.x for readers who may have to deal with programs in that version.

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Product Details
About the Author
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

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oreillyIntroducing Python
 
3.7

(based on 11 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

73%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (10)
  • Well-written (10)
  • Helpful examples (7)
  • Accurate (5)
  • Concise (5)

Cons

  • Too basic (3)

Best Uses

  • Student (9)
  • Novice (8)
  • Intermediate (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (5), Educator (4), Sys admin (4)

Reviewed by 11 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Vastly Improved from First Early Release

By LongInTheTooth

from White Plains, NY

About Me Developer

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Introducing Python:

    I posted a negative review of the first version of the early release since it was woefully incomplete. I've just gone through the latest release (15 July 2014) and it's greatly improved!

    I've not given it 5 stars since there's always room for improvement. But now I heartily recommend this book!

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Introducing the world of Python

    By gev

    from Velvary, Czech Republic

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Introducing Python:

      In my opinion the book could be titled as well as "Introducing the world of Python". It introduces not only the language, but many areas of practical application in the style of a cookbook, as others already mentioned. In many cases, when you do not get advice or example of python use to solve your problem, you get at least a pointer where to look for the solution elsewhere.

      The ecosystem of python language is very wide and has many applications in many areas. This books seems to succeed at providing you with both introduction to the language itself, and how to use it solve problems. Until now you needed at least two books for that.

      I give five stars even though the book is not yet finished. I am fully positive that this one deserves the highest mark, perfect book for a beginner.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Jumps right in, but not too fast

      By Michael Michael Motorcycle

      from Seattle, WA

      About Me Sys Admin

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand
      • No Unnecessary Filler
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly Introducing Python:

        I like how this book jumps right into getting you writing code. Too many books bore me into skipping the first few chapters. I'm rating the Early Release, so there are a few things which still have placeholders, but they haven't been important, so the material still stands. I'm learning Python so I can script an application at work, where I'll be sourcing many input files, then writing to a database. I've just finished chapter 3 and I'm confident that by the time I finish this book I will know enough to accomplish my goals.

        (1 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        Half-price for half the book

        By Bill

        from Montreal,Quebec

        About Me Educator, Sys Admin

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Novice

          Comments about oreilly Introducing Python:

          OK for basic sensible Python, but the early release only half the book. Maybe we should wait for the rest before we start to read it.
          Just not what I expected. Like buying code, that is full of stubs.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Not a standalone beginner's guide

          By absolutepybeginner

          from Berlin, Germany

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Useful As A Reference

          Cons

          • Too Dry

          Best Uses

          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly Introducing Python:

          The author mentions at the beginning that he mixes "cookbook and tutorial styles to explain new terms and ideas", and this is key - the book works well as a 'beginner's cookbook'.

          I'm a beginner in Python programming, and got into it through online coding tutorial sites and a couple of other books. Most of them start with fun code, and then tell you what you just did.

          Introducing Python is different. It goes through terminology and how the language functions, and explains the what and why of each. "Here's a function, here's what it does", "here's the difference between a tuple and a list", rather than "Let's make a rock, paper, scissors game and learn about the code inside".

          Some beginners will find this off-putting and dry. I found it useful, having rushed through an online course, to take time to understand exactly what a function, dictionary, tuple etc. is. But if I was learning it for the very first time, I imagine I would be lost and bored.

          Now, I find myself coding and saying "What was one of those tuple things I learnt about online? Would it be useful here?" and that's where the book is perfect - I look it up, I get a direct answer with a direct example.

          TL;DR - this book is far more beginner's cookbook than tutorial, and that's fine and practical for many people, but some using this as their absolute first python/programming book could find it dry and boring.

          I WOULD recommend this to a friend, but only one who has other Python learning materials at his or her disposal and is looking for a beginner's reference book.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Good but check that it is right for you

          By ITECS Ken

          from UK

          About Me Maker

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

          • Too basic

          Best Uses

          • Student

          Comments about oreilly Introducing Python:

          Introducing Python was my first experience of programming with Python and it was great for getting me going with the language.

          The book is written with limited assumed knowledge of programming and has an amiable reading style making it an interesting read on the commute to work.

          I have experience of other programming languages and was looking to learn Python due its wide availability and increasing popularity as an embedded / macro language in some commercial products.

          Due to my experience I found the pacing slow for my tastes and I would of been better off with "Learning Python".

          That said I don't have any regrets as it gave me all the knowledge I needed and I can now read and successfully programme in Python.

          (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Still have hopes for the full book.

          By Zoot

          from Illinois

          About Me Designer, Developer, Educator, Maker

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Easy to understand
          • Well-written

          Cons

          • Too basic

          Best Uses

          • Novice

          Comments about oreilly Introducing Python:

          I was drawn to the book by this sentence in the blurb: "Along with providing a strong foundation in the language itself, Lubanovic shows you how to use Python for a range of applications in business, science, and the arts, drawing on the rich collection of open source packages developed by Python fans."

          As such I was expecting more of a focus on fun real-world examples.

          But the current "Early Release" state of the book has it being yet another basic introduction to all the elements of the Python language. Honestly there are hundreds of these in the world and so I was disappointed.

          Based on the current contents, there's room yet for a lot of good stuff, so I haven't given up yet, but I was really hoping that the book would dive right into fun examples rather than making the reader slog through 100+ pages of bottom-up Python language syntax made of simplistic examples which solve no real-world problem.

          Minor rant:

          I want a book that relegates installing Python to an appendix, and on page one has you type python, import something, and in one to five lines of code does something incredibly cool that makes the reader go "woah!"

          Becasue that's what Python is about for most users these days. Not a "programming language" for writing huge applications, but as a means of invoking the vast functionality that exists in the world of freely available Pyhton modules and its integration into major applications (Blender, etc.). We need a book that shows why it can be amazingly cool to just be a "glue language".

          Doing fun things with Python (even including such advanced elements as pandas and matplotlib) does not require a language-lawyer level of knowledge about Python any more than using Rails requires the same level of knowledge about Ruby.

          When introducing functions for example, it should not be neccessary to spend 11 pages on every aspect of positional vs. keyword parameters, default values, * and **, functions as values, and lambda expressions. Let the poor user get on with it and introduce the optional stuff later.

          I really don't think many users targeted by this book will be willing to memorize 100 pages of dry language specification before being shown that Pyhton can actually do cool stuff for them.

          Dive in. Hook the user and motivate them to experiment with what they've been shown, even if they might get lost or not fully understand what they're doing. Challenge them a little. Trust them to be smart. THEN tell them the minimum level of detail needed to understand what you're showing them. It's OK if you never tell them about half the features in the language.

          G.

          (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          A great amount of knowledge with humour

          By Cidrolin

          from Reunion island -- Indian Ocean.

          About Me Educator

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

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

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Expert
            • Intermediate
            • Student

            Comments about oreilly Introducing Python:

            Study with this excellent introduction to Python3 in a quiet place.

            (0 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            2.0

            Incomplete at this point

            By LongInTheTooth

            from White Plains, NY

            About Me Developer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

            • Too basic

            Best Uses

            • Novice
            • Student

            Comments about oreilly Introducing Python:

            The book looks promising from the outline, but most of the valuable stuff is in chapters 6-15 and the appendices, which are not in this release.

            What little is included is well presented and interesting. But it's pretty basic.

            It's not clear yet how much attention will be given to interactive programming and standard GUI toolkits such as PyQT. If that's covered, too, then this book will be a 5-star home-run!

            (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Very promising early release

            By McDogfood

            from Selby, UK

            About Me Designer, Developer, Educator, Sys Admin

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate
              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about oreilly Introducing Python:

              I whistled through what there currently is of this early release ebook in about a week. I found it engaging, concise, and clear. The exercises at the end are also great. I was put off Python by other Python books with their 'one language to rule them all' evangelism.

              I'm really looking forward to the rest of this book, so I can learn some more Python instead of being told how great it is for 10 chapters.

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