Learning Python, 3rd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: October 2007
Pages: 752

Portable, powerful, and a breeze to use, Python is ideal for both standalone programs and scripting applications. With this hands-on book, you can master the fundamentals of the core Python language quickly and efficiently, whether you're new to programming or just new to Python. Once you finish, you will know enough about the language to use it in any application domain you choose.

Learning Python is based on material from author Mark Lutz's popular training courses, which he's taught over the past decade. Each chapter is a self-contained lesson that helps you thoroughly understand a key component of Python before you continue. Along with plenty of annotated examples, illustrations, and chapter summaries, every chapter also contains Brain Builder, a unique section with practical exercises and review quizzes that let you practice new skills and test your understanding as you go.

This book covers:

  • Types and Operations -- Python's major built-in object types in depth: numbers, lists, dictionaries, and more

  • Statements and Syntax -- the code you type to create and process objects in Python, along with Python's general syntax model

  • Functions -- Python's basic procedural tool for structuring and reusing code

  • Modules -- packages of statements, functions, and other tools organized into larger components

  • Classes and OOP -- Python's optional object-oriented programming tool for structuring code for customization and reuse

  • Exceptions and Tools -- exception handling model and statements, plus a look at development tools for writing larger programs
Learning Python gives you a deep and complete understanding of the language that will help you comprehend any application-level examples of Python that you later encounter. If you're ready to discover what Google and YouTube see in Python, this book is the best way to get started.
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(12 of 16 customers found this review helpful)


You won't learn Python

By Urfer

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 3rd Edition:

I like the old 1999 edition of "Learning Python" very much: a thin book with nice examples that will teach you how to write Python programs.

However, I find this edition of "Learning Python" quite useless: a big fat book that describes all separate functions of Python. You can learn these separate items, but the book will not teach you how to write Python programs.

This edition is like learning all separate parts of a car, but not learning how to drive.

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Great Book for Beginners to Python

By Andre

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 3rd Edition:

Great book for beginners because it very thoroughly covers the basic python syntax (and more) while also covering the python philosophy. Note: It doesn't cover the Standard Library of python in detail, but that's not what this book is trying to do. This author has another book for that: Programming Python.

(7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)


Enough with the sales pitch!

By Ian Pilcher

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 3rd Edition:

As a somewhat experienced C and Java programmer, I am finding that the pace of the book is rather slow. For those less familiar with concepts like functional programming, OOP, etc., this may be helpful.

The more grating aspect of the book is the constant Python sales pitch. Look, I've bought the book and read to page 501. You can stop telling me how C, C++, and Java suck and Python is the answer to all of the world's problems.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Excellent Coverage Of Python

By Noah Gift

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 3rd Edition:

After getting a review copy of Learning Python, 3rd edition, I had forgot how much really great material was in the book. If you are interested in learning about Python 2.6 and Python 3000, and have some experience with Programming in another language this is an excellent book.

This book is not a reference book like the excellent Python Essential Reference, but more of a example driven guide through features of the language. I would pick this book up even if you know Python, as it covers new language features that have not been documented in some books.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


Good starter for Python

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Learning Python, 3rd Edition:

I found this book to be a very good starter for learning Python. It deals with all the things you need to know what you first start out with Python. It is easy to read and the author knows how to keep you interested, even in the more theoretical parts.

It starts off with background information about Python. What is it, where did it come from, how do you start Python programs etc. Then it continues with the basic principles of how Python works. Python's basis differs quite a bit from other popular languages and the book makes the differences easy to understand.

It then continues to the actual programming syntax. By now, you'll have read some 200 pages of background information so you'll understand how python works before you start writing anything in it. I find this to be a big plus, because the examples make perfect sense, you don't have to translate the code into some understanding of how Python works, it just falls into place naturally because of what you learned before.

The book then deals with another big thing in Python: modules. Again everything is explained very clearly, you don't get the feeling that you need to be an ace programmer to understand it.

The last segment of the book deals with OOP and I'm glad to see that even here the author does not assume that you're an expert already. He takes time to explain how OOP works in theory, and then procedes to demonstrate how to do it in Python.

Are there any downsides? Not really. I'm an experienced programmer but I didn't notice the book skipping any required information.

Alltogether I think this book is a great start for anyone who want's to learn Python. It's detailed, entertaining and easy to read.

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