Learning Python, 4th Edition
Powerful Object-Oriented Programming
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: October 2009
Pages: 1216

Google and YouTube use Python because it's highly adaptable, easy to maintain, and allows for rapid development. If you want to write high-quality, efficient code that's easily integrated with other languages and tools, this hands-on book will help you be productive with Python quickly -- whether you're new to programming or just new to Python. It's an easy-to-follow self-paced tutorial, based on author and Python expert Mark Lutz's popular training course.

Each chapter contains a stand-alone lesson on a key component of the language, and includes a unique Test Your Knowledge section with practical exercises and quizzes, so you can practice new skills and test your understanding as you go. You'll find lots of annotated examples and illustrations to help you get started with Python 3.0.

Learn about Python's major built-in object types, such as numbers, lists, and dictionariesCreate and process objects using Python statements, and learn Python's general syntax modelStructure and reuse code using functions, Python's basic procedural toolLearn about Python modules: packages of statements, functions, and other tools, organized into larger componentsDiscover Python's object-oriented programming tool for structuring codeLearn about the exception-handling model, and development tools for writing larger programsExplore advanced Python tools including decorators, descriptors, metaclasses, and Unicode processing

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O'Reilly MediaLearning Python, 4th Edition
 
3.2

(based on 18 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

61%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Accurate (9)
  • Helpful examples (9)
  • Well-written (6)
  • Concise (5)
  • Easy to understand (4)

Cons

  • Difficult to understand (5)

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (7)
  • Student (7)
  • Novice (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (12), Sys admin (3)

Reviewed by 18 customers

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1.0

Awful, boring and too long

By Buddy

from Coventry England

About Me Developer

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Python, 4th Edition:

        This is a book about learning python. It is about 1800 pages of boring...
        The author clear knows his stuff (the tops); but python is one of the easy language to learn; but this book makes learning c++, c, machine/assembly code etc the easy options. Constant revisiting of previous covered topic, but from different angles. Overkill of many parts of the language. After 600 pages I finally give up. The author is very clever at taking a 600 page subject and turning it into a 1800 page subject. There are no programming examples to build on in this book. There is a follow up book by the author that does has coding examples (another 1600 pages or more). No one who wants to learn python should read this book. It would be a amazing reference book if it wasn't all over the place.

        (1 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        help()

        By Tom O'Bedlam

        from Terra

        About Me Sys Admin

        Pros

          Cons

          • Difficult to understand

          Best Uses

            Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Python, 4th Edition:

            I've dipped my toes in Python in the past and even owned previous editions of this book. Imagine my surprise when the postal carrier wheeled this vast tome up to my doorstep on a dolly, wheezing and stopping to wipe sweat from her brow. I had to call my wife and we both eventually wrestled the book into the house. After using a spare car jack to open the cover I did find many familiar and easy to understand sections. Until I reached Chapter 7 which contains about 200 pages on the ever-scintillating topic of string formatting, which Python apparently has multiple versions of...After desperately typing all the examples and staring at them until my vision blurred(it may have been the tears of despair running down my face) I just unplugged my computer and went for a bike ride. Maybe I'll just learn Forth of Assembly...

            (3 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            2.0

            Which editor let this one through?

            By Heptite

            from Idaho

            Verified Reviewer

            Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Python, 4th Edition:

            This book is definitely not up to O'Reilly standards. The author rambles, repeates himself without benefit of added clarity, and is not clear at points. Overall writing has poor flow, which slows down my reading significantly.

            This book is absolutely HUGE. I am glad I have an electronic edition instead of the printed edition, but the benefit is questionable because I just cannot get through this book in any reasonable amount of time.

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Excellent book to learn from!

            By HJS

            from Long Island, NY

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate
              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Python, 4th Edition:

              I'll want to keep this book within arm's reach as a reference. I found the book to be very instructional. There are numerous examples that support the text.

              (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              Good learning tool, but verbose

              By FyreHeart

              from Irvine, CA

              About Me Developer, Sys Admin

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Accurate
              • Helpful examples

              Cons

              • Difficult to understand
              • Verbose

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate
              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Python, 4th Edition:

              Mark Lutz clearly has a vast knowledge of Python, which he shares with the reader. In this book, he gives a solid introduction to the language, but the benefits of the book are obscured by his writing style. He repeats himself so often, I began counting the number of times he said the same thing. On average, he seems to repeat the same concept three times, but unlike other writers who use this technique, he adds no clarification when he restates a concept. This 1200 page book could be 400 pages if another writer or editor forced him to write more concisely. I've found his Python Pocket Reference invaluable simply because the short format forced him to write efficiently.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              1.0

              Too much commentary and little examples

              By Al

              from Boston

              About Me Developer

              Pros

                Cons

                • Not comprehensive enough

                Best Uses

                • Student

                Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Python, 4th Edition:

                I bought this book hoping to learn something about python but I am very disappointed. Its just too much commentary and very little real world examples. He also just skirts important topics that are the core of the python language.

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Good book.

                By TheNoob

                from LA, CA

                About Me Developer

                Pros

                • Accurate
                • Helpful examples

                Cons

                • Not for a beginner

                Best Uses

                • Intermediate

                Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Python, 4th Edition:

                Good book to start learning Python, although I wouldn't recommend this book for someone attempting to learn their first language. Having some/good amount of programming experience would (IMO) be required. A beginner will have a hard time with this book because by chapter 6 they are loaded with all this information, but have no idea how to make it all work together. Although, this book does a great job covering python. It's worth the read!

                (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                This book clear my concept

                By fatfrabbit

                from Fremont, CA

                About Me Developer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Novice

                  Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Python, 4th Edition:

                  This book is best for people who don't know python at all. The author point out a lot of important concept/points while other python book or website fail to point out those important concept.
                  Very easy and clear example. Highly recommend this book to new python programmer. It cover 2.6 and 3.0 python

                  (11 of 39 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  1.0

                  You never need this book

                  By Rajesh

                  from Bangalore

                  About Me Designer, Developer

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                    • Difficult to understand

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Python, 4th Edition:

                      Pathetic book. The book goes on and on and on. parts 1-5 could have been condensed into 2 parts at the max. The author should be banned from Writing. Never in my life in any programming language, I learnt Scope before functions. This author does that. Even after you read this tome, you wont be writing practical code. You need to read another book of his. "Beginning Python: From Novice to Professional" is a much better book but then that book is not fully updated for Python 3.X. Dont buy this book. It is a pain for your head.

                      (13 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      In a word 'Comprehensive'

                      By Joy of Duck

                      from UK

                      About Me Developer, Educator

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Accurate
                      • Comprehensive
                      • Helpful examples
                      • Well-written

                      Cons

                      • Too comprehensive

                      Best Uses

                      • Expert
                      • Intermediate
                      • Student

                      Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Python, 4th Edition:

                      Firstly, the good bits: This book is the single most comprehensive resource for learning to program in Python. As a very experienced Python programmer, I found it an invaluable reference for getting my skills up to speed on the new 3.X features.

                      Now the down side: This book is the single most comprehensive resource for learning to program in Python. If I was starting out it would scare me away to a nice fluffy language like Ruby.

                      Mark appears to cover every single nook and cranny of every single Python feature. This is great for programmers, but not so if you are starting out.

                      I think that Learning Python should have been split across at least two volumes. The Advanced volume would be my desktop reference and the Beginners volume would be required reading for all my students.

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