Programming Python, 4th Edition
Powerful Object-Oriented Programming
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: December 2010
Pages: 1632

If you've mastered Python's fundamentals, you're ready to start using it to get real work done. Programming Python will show you how, with in-depth tutorials on the language's primary application domains: system administration, GUIs, and the Web. You'll also explore how Python is used in databases, networking, front-end scripting layers, text processing, and more. This book focuses on commonly used tools and libraries to give you a comprehensive understanding of Python’s many roles in practical, real-world programming.

You'll learn language syntax and programming techniques in a clear and concise manner, with lots of examples that illustrate both correct usage and common idioms. Completely updated for version 3.x, Programming Python also delves into the language as a software development tool, with many code examples scaled specifically for that purpose.

Topics include:

  • Quick Python tour: Build a simple demo that includes data representation, object-oriented programming, object persistence, GUIs, and website basics
  • System programming: Explore system interface tools and techniques for command-line scripting, processing files and folders, running programs in parallel, and more
  • GUI programming: Learn to use Python’s tkinter widget library
  • Internet programming: Access client-side network protocols and email tools, use CGI scripts, and learn website implementation techniques
  • More ways to apply Python: Implement data structures, parse text-based information, interface with databases, and extend and embed Python
Table of Contents
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O'Reilly MediaProgramming Python, 4th Edition
 
3.9

(based on 17 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

82%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Helpful examples (12)
  • Accurate (11)
  • Easy to understand (11)
  • Well-written (8)
  • Concise (5)

Cons

  • Not comprehensive enough (4)

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (14)
  • Student (5)
  • Expert (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (12), Sys admin (4)

Reviewed by 17 customers

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4.0

The Big Friendly Giant of python books

By Oddcog

from Netherlands

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written
  • Wide Range Of Subjects

Cons

  • A Bit Verbose At Times

Best Uses

  • Intermediate

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

This is a broad and deep book covering a wide range of subjects in considerable detail. Some people complain about the verbosity, and there is some truth in this: think of 40 pages of foreword and preface then 20 pages of introductory small talk before getting down to brass tacks in chapter 2. But I really like this chapter. It takes a fairly common programming task (keeping employee records) and shows how to implement it using progressively more sophisticated features of the Python programming language. I find it a brilliant introduction to Python. My only quibble is that it is in the wrong book: it should really be in 'Learning Python', by the same author.

The book is well written; information is presented at an appropriate rate and level of detail so that you can steadily build up your understanding of a topic. There are plenty of examples ranging in size from small snippets to compete applications.

The sheer size of the book can be a problem. I am very fond of it but I often check in one of my smaller books when I need to look something up quickly. This book really shows its strength when I need to get a handle on a subject but the official docs are too terse and lacking in examples. After an hour with this book I have the overview and insight to make use of the docs (if still needed).

I am pleased that the index has been improved. It is a lot better than the sorry mess that defiled the third edition. It is better organized and has fewer omissions. I find this important because the book contains so much detail that I often want to look up passages that I have read before.

Overall, it is an excellent tutorial to programming in Python. It is expensive but you get as much as three normal books for your money and it has saved me a lot of time trawling the Internet for information.

(2 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Old and too big

By Filip the housecat

from Stockholm, Sweden

About Me Developer

Pros

    Cons

    • Long
    • Not comprehensive enough
    • Old

    Best Uses

    • Laptop Stand

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

    I was hoping to buy a reference book on Python but was presented with a super long and super heavy book on old topics such as CGI and how to build ancient user interfaces with Tk/Tcl.

    Bottom line: This book is too big for my trash can :(

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    A book well diversified

    By mundodacana

    from Brasil

    About Me Developer, Maker

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Not comprehensive enough

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate

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

    It is an excellent book for those who want to delve into the diversity of Python applications.

    (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great Book

    By dourouc05

    from Liège, Belgique

    About Me Student

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Student

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

      Some thought this book was to give them the basics about Python 3.x; turn the book, it is written: the readers are supposed to have a "previous programming experience." The first chapters are no different, the syntax will not be explained. Actually, you do not need to know Python's syntax to fully understand the book. Programming experience is enough, examples are given in the right order, the best practices are explained not in full details when related to the core language (however, even if he said he will not, the author spends some lines outlining what is really needed). No, it is not required to have completely read a introductive text about Python; of course, it helps, the reader can get more quickly into the full depth of the examples.

      Throughout the book you can find examples - realistic, complete (up to thousands of lines for PyMailGUI) -, not a few lines explaining only the concept; you will find there examples for you to understand everything about the studied concept, along with more detailed examples, with comments, concept explanation paragraphs, and the like. One can say he builds his examples step by step, no one can get lost - even when he starts with threads, a subject many developers just do not like, he manages to make everyone completely aware of all those technical subtleties about beginning with threads. Everything here is also shown in use in real world applications.
      Examples also mean that the whole book is not all about theory, there are some examples chapters, chapters totally dedicated to a single example, using many snippets written before (code reutilisation is important).

      Almost every main subject in Python is covered: system programming, as Python is a replacement for Perl, Bash scripts, etc.; GUIs, as Python can do as much as C++ can in the GUIs' world; Internet, as Python is growing fast with frameworks like Django or Zope (even though any of these is covered: none currently supports Python 3). The main problem is that important things cannot find a place in that book: ZODB, Zope, Django, MySQL, etc. are not yet ported to Python 3; the book only covers Python 3 and thus cannot say much about these. Note that ZODB is shown, in its Python 2 flavour, to show the basics about OODB; wilingly, no Web framework is getting more than a paragraph or two, these technologies are said to change often.

      Though this is an impressive book (about 1,600 pages), it is almost impossible to cover so many subjects in so few pages. Even if it lacks a few topics, this book is more than far complete. Some chapters help you understand the basics of things that cannot be covered (CGI scripting is shown, it is not used anymore for new Web projects, but current Web frameworks are based on these principles).

      Note: I got this book thanks to a parternship between Developpez.com and O'Reilly.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Not for the beginners, but still great!

      By The Spanish Inquisition

      from Munich, Germany

      About Me Developer, Sys Admin

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Expert
        • Intermediate

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

        If you decide to buy this book, there a few things you should know: it doesn't have a language reference and it is not meant for a complete beginners in Python.
        Having that in mind, the book is amazingly good structured, with short and concise examples that will get you where you need to go with either language fundamentals or with some advanced examples. It is focused on Python 3.x so if you're still programming in version 2.x, better get some other book.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Still My number One

        By Joy of Duck

        from UK

        About Me Developer, Educator

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

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

        Cons

        • Not comprehensive enough

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Student

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

        I learned so much about programming properly from the first edition of this book that I have bought every edition since.

        Mark's writing style really suites the context of exploring Python through code.

        In my opinion, the example applications could have done with more of a refresh for the fourth edition, especially as 3.X brought so many new features to explore.

        Highly recommended for programmers new to Python, or Python programmers looking to up their game.

        (11 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        well written, but theclassic needs a cut

        By Chemaper

        from Valladolid, Spain

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Well-written

        Cons

        • Some parts "toot classic"
        • Too many pages

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Student

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

        This review is a partial translation of my full review in Spanish: http://chemaper.blogspot.com/2011/04/book-review-programming-python.html.

        Sorry for my bad English and thanks O'Reilly Media for the free copy of the book (Blogger Review Program).

        The book "Programming Python" covers how to use Python in several domains: system programming, text processing (both traditional fields of Perl), rapid desktop GUIs development and Internet applications.

        The book does not cover the learning of the language. This is the target of the first book of the "Python saga" of Mark Lutz, "Learning Python". Reading "Learning Python" before "Programming Python" is not required, but a strong previous knowledge of Python it is. A third book of Python ecosystem is "Python Pocket Reference", a very useful and brief book.

        This new edition of "Programming Python" is updated to cover Python 3.x. Indeed, it covers Python 3 only; when something is different between Python 2.x and 3.x the book alerts about it but only explains the 3.0 API. This is OK if you are migrating from 2.x to 3.x, but if you are new in Python and need to use 2.x version (some modules are not updated yet) you will need a extra reference book or go to original documentation. For example, "Python Pocket Reference" covers both 2.x y 3.x versions.

        If you buy the ebook, I recommend the O'Reilly shop, because users has a bookshelf with their books in multiple formats. I think this is useful. For example, while testing and playing with the examples in the laptop, the PDF version is the best option. But 1600 pages are a lot to read in a computer PDF reader and a ebook reader (EPUB, Kindle) is better for relax reading sessions. The book format for Kindle is good, but comments in source code at the rigth end of the line instead of in the line before are bad with little screens of e-readers.

        The book is very clear and good written. It has a lot of examples. Then why only 3 stars?

        The negative side is that 1600 pages are a lot (even if we forget that the other book already has 1200 ). I think that sometimes the book is reiterative and many parts needs a cut. IMHO system programming and text processing contents are OK, but Internet client-side (e.g. the mail program) and TkInter parts should be shorter. Tkinter for example is good for scripts, but full applications now are written mainly with more advanced Python libraries as wxWidgets, Qt or GTK+ bindings.

        First edition of the book is near 15 years ago and perhaps contents are too old now.Yes, the book is updated with the last features of Python 3.0, but most people today does not think in written POP, news or FTP clients nor in mail clients with Tkinter GUI.

        I recommend studying the table of contents before buying this book. It the table of contents and extension is good for you, this book is a great election. But most people I know prefer a book shorter and with some changes in the contents.

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Your Python collection needs it

        By Eder Andres Avila

        from Paipa, Colombia

        About Me University Student

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Helpful examples

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Student

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

          So you know the Python basic constructs, however probably you don't know how to build more complex programs. 'Programming Python 4th Edition' is the next step you can take in order to understand how to work with the operating system, parallel processing, traditional graphical user interfaces, and network and Internet resources. By learning this book, you'll be ready to use the Python programming language to start building applications able to serve real business problems within the context of desktop development.This books explores in additional programming constructs than the exposed ones in the author's previous book 'Learning Python 4th Edition'. Due to its extension and coverage, we can call these two books as Volume 1 (Learning Python) and Volume 2 (Programming Python) each one with 1000+ pages. But the benefit is that you'll find examples about how to work with expected programming scenarios such as processing threads, file storage, canvas drawing, and network consumption.But, there are interesting topics not enough covered yet like database handling (Object-Relational, SQL, Procedures, exceptions) and data and process security. The last is an critical concern because it is also import protect both source code and data integrity from any information spy, cracker, and thief.Despite these missing topics, I recommend this book because it leads us to develop more complete programs that just declaring some classes and methods. With this book we are closer to build full applications using the next generation programming language. Thanks what I believe.Note: This book review is in exchange of the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program (http://oreilly.com/bloggers/)

          (7 of 36 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          First Programming Book I've ever returne

          By bhuston

          from Binghamton, NY

          About Me Sys Admin

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

            Cons

            • Not a fundamentals book
            • Not a language reference
            • Too big

            Best Uses

            • Destruction of forests

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

            This is a massive book, over $70 from my retailer. Too big and unwieldy to sit on a desk.

            This seems to be a departure for O'Reilly. I purchased the first edition of Programming Perl, which was both a) language fundamentals, and b) a language reference. So I was expecting the same from this book.

            BUT NO! Right in the introduction, I see "This book is NOT a language reference or a book on language fundamentals". Hey forget that.

            The other thing I noticed is that many examples in the book use the interactive mode, which I'd say is not idiomatic for 90% of all people using the language. So why waste the paper?

            I have probably purchased ~30 O'Reilly books throughout my career, and they have always been a) concise, b) useful. This book is neither.

            Save your money. This book is the pits.

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Still Great Now with Python 3 Goodness

            By Joshua

            from Lynnwood, WA

            About Me Developer, Sys Admin

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate

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

              Programming Python, 4th Edition by Mark Lutz continues to be an excellent book for Python programmers of all levels.

              If you are new to Python you definitely want to start with Learning Python or some other introductory book. Once you are familiar with the basics Programming Python should be your next step. While the author repeatedly mentions that this is not a reference book I think you'll find yourself referring to it frequently. The tutorial programs are not only excellent examples how to do something in Python, but also how to do it well.

              This version of the book covers Python 3, the latest version of the language. Since Python 3 and Python 2 are not fully compatible this is a big change. If you are new, start with Python 3 and then only reach for Python 2 if the need arises (say a module or library that isn't yet ported to v3). The examples in the book can, for the most part, be used with Python 2 with relatively minor changes.

              At more than 1600 pages even the PDF is heavy. But it is well enough written that, as far as programming books go, this is a real page turner.

              Displaying reviews 1-10

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