Python in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: July 2006
Pages: 738

This book offers Python programmers one place to look when they needhelp remembering or deciphering the syntax of this open source languageand its many powerful but scantily documented modules. Thiscomprehensive reference guide makes it easy to look up the mostfrequently needed information--not just about the Python languageitself, but also the most frequently used parts of the standard libraryand the most important third-party extensions.

Ask any Python aficionado and you'll hear that Python programmers haveit all: an elegant object-oriented language with readable andmaintainable syntax, that allows for easy integration with componentsin C, C++, Java, or C#, and an enormous collection of precoded standardlibrary and third-party extension modules. Moreover, Python is easy tolearn, yet powerful enough to take on the most ambitious programmingchallenges. But what Python programmers used to lack is a concise andclear reference resource, with the appropriate measure of guidance inhow best to use Python's great power. Python in aNutshell fills this need.

Python in a Nutshell, Second Edition covers morethan the language itself; it also deals with the mostfrequently used parts of the standard library, and the most popular andimportant third party extensions. Revised and expanded forPython 2.5, this book now contains the gory details of Python's newsubprocess module and breaking news about Microsoft's newIronPython project. Our "Nutshell" format fits Python perfectly bypresenting the highlights of the most important modules and functionsin its standard library, which cover over 90% of your practicalprogramming needs. This book includes:

  • A fast-paced tutorial on the syntax of the Python language
  • An explanation of object-oriented programming in Python
  • Coverage of iterators, generators, exceptions, modules,packages, strings, and regular expressions
  • A quick reference for Python's built-in types and functionsand key modules
  • Reference material on important third-party extensions,such as Numeric and Tkinter
  • Information about extending and embedding Python

Python in a Nutshell provides a solid,no-nonsense quick reference to information that programmers rely on themost. This book will immediately earn its place in any Pythonprogrammer's library.

Praise for the First Edition:

"In a nutshell, Python in a Nutshell serves oneprimary goal: to act as an immediately accessible goal for the Pythonlanguage. True, you can get most of the same core information that ispresented within the covers of this volume online, but this willinvariably be broken into multiple files, and in all likelihood lackingthe examples or the exact syntax description necessary to trulyunderstand a command."
--Richard Cobbett, Linux Format

"O'Reilly has several good books, of which Python in aNutshell by Alex Martelli is probably the best for giving yousome idea of what Python is about and how to do useful things with it."
--Jerry Pournelle, Byte Magazine

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oreillyPython in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition
 
4.5

(based on 4 reviews)

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Must own Book

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Python in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition:

Python in a Nutshell 2nd Edition

Author Alex Martelli

Publisher O'Reilly ISBN: 0-596-10046-9

The author Alex Martelli is Uber Technical Lead at Google, Inc. Martelli holds a laurea in Ingegneria Elettronica from Bologna University. He wrote Python in a Nutshell two editions, and also co-edited the Python Cookbook. He's a member of the Python Software Foundation, and won the 2002 Activators' Choice Award. Martelli spent 8 years with IBM Research, earning three Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards, and on.

The book is a great reference and full of insights and good programming techniques. It moves pretty fast to make a good introductory book, but once one has a reasonable understanding of Python fundamentals, anyone wishing to advance their understanding and application of the language can benefit from Python in a Nutshell.

I found that this book has been able to cover every thing from fundamentals of the Python language to a comprehensive description of some of the more esoteric newer language features and at the same time address many of the applications of the language. The presentation style is clear and very readable with concise examples, and not full of extraneous fluff. The subjects are well laid out beginning with a swift comprehensive introduction to the language, and a good description of the basic elements including classes, methods exceptions, modules, decorators and built-ins. There are sections on the Python library and extension modules, Network and web programming including some discussion of some of the existing python web frame works and socket programming. There is material on extending and embedding Python and alternate ways to extend python beyond c-extensions. The book was released just prior to the final release of Python 2.5, but there is considerable material covering most if not all of the latest 2.5 features such as the with statement.

I have found Python in a nutshell 2nd edition a valuable learning tool and reference resource and would recommend it for anyone interested in using Python to its fullest.

Reviewed by Max Slimmer user and proponent of Python since release 1.3.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

great update, but poor index

By Dan Halbert

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Python in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition:

The text of this book is wonderful. I used the first edition extensively and the second edition expands to cover new material as necessary.

Unfortunately, the size of the index has been greatly reduced in the second edition, from 66 pages in the first edition to 19 in the second. This makes the index close to useless. Try to look up "list comprehension", for instance. I have resorted to scanning the table of contents instead.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great python reference...

By Val_rio Val_rio VDVsx""

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Python in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition:

Python in a Nutshell is a excellent reference book, all python programmer must have one in the desk.

The online documentation for the python language is good, but some times is difficult to search for a feature of the language, in this book is easy to find anything about python.

This book complements perfectly the official library and language references, and covers almost everything you will ever need.

I Learn python with this book, but i only recommend the book for people with knowledge of other programming language, if you are new in programming and wants to learn python this book is not good for you (try Learning python by David Ascher and Mark Lutz), if you already have programming skills this is the perfect book for learn python.

The author explain the language in a very simple way with good examples, and don't wast time explaining the basics of programming, the book starts with a introduction to the python language, in chapter 2 the author explain the installation of various python interpreters, from chapter 4 to 9 the author explain the core of the python language, in the rest of the book the author cover the python library and extensions modules, network and web programming with python and in the last section the author talk about the various ways of embedding and extending the python language, in my opinion the book is well written and very easy to read.

I highly recommend Python in a Nutshell, for all programmers who wants to start coding in python, and for all python programmers as a language reference.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

An excellent reference

By msoulier

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Python in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition:

I picked this up as it had great material on what had changed since I first got into Python with 1.5.2. Considering that the Zen of Python is barely being followed as the core language has feature upon feature heaped upon it, a book like this helps poor programmers simply wanting to use the language keep up with the changes.

I particularly like the section on the new object model, explaining the new __new__() method and summarizing the changes of subclassing object very nicely.

Still, Python changes so quickly that a book like this becomes stale very quickly. O'Reilly should likely offer some kind of upgrade program to stay current in cases like this.

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