Programming Python is a classic O'Reilly Nutshell Handbook® describing the use of the Python programming/scripting language. Python is a popular scripting language freely available over the Net. Like Perl, Python is powerful, but easier to use than a traditional compiler language like C or C++. Although it is used mostly in UNIX environments (including Linux), it is available on Windows and Mac platforms as well. Unlike Perl, Python uses an object-oriented paradigm, making it a particularly useful scripting language for C++ programmers and the Windows/OLE and Mac environments. This book will serve the Python community as our Programming Perl book does for the Perl community.
This book complements the online reference material provided with the Python releases. It is endorsed by the creator of Python, Guido van Rossum, who wrote the foreword. The CD-ROM included with the book contains Python 1.3 binaries for most popular UNIX platforms, as well as Linux, Windows, NT, and the Mac. This book is the most comprehensive Python user material available from any publisher. It contains a number of running examples, presented simply at first but becoming more complex as new issues appear. Examples describing Graphical User Interface (GUI) programming use the Tk language. (Tk is usually considered a part of the Tcl scripting language, but is in fact usable with other scripting languages like Perl and Python.)
An appendix contains a separate short language tutorial.
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The animal featured on the cover of Programming Python is an African rock python, one of approximately 18 species of python. Pythons are nonvenomous constrictor snakes that live in tropical regions of Africa, Asia, Australia and some Pacific Islands. Pythons live mainly on the ground, but they are also excellent swimmers and climbers. Both male and female pythons retain vestiges of their ancestral hind legs. The male python uses these vestiges, or spurs, when courting a female. The pythons kills its prey by suffocation. While the snake's sharp teeth grip and hold the prey in place, the python's long body coils around its victim's chest, constricting tighter each time it breathes out. They feed primarily on mammals and birds. Python attacks on humans are extremely rare. UNIX and its attendant programs can be unruly beasts. Nutshell Handbooks help you tame them.
Edie Freedman designed this cover and the entire UNIX bestiary that appears on Nutshell Handbooks, using a 19th-century engraving from the Dover Pictorial Archive. The cover layout was produced with Quark XPress 3.3 using the ITC Garamond font. The CD design was created by Hanna Dyer. The inside layout was designed by Edie Freedman, Jennifer Niederst, and Nancy Priest. Text was prepared by Erik Ray in SGML DocBook 2.4 DTD. The print version of this book was created by translating the SGML source into a set of gtroff macros using a filter developed at ORA by Norman Walsh. Steve Talbott designed and wrote the underlying macro set on the basis of the GNU troff -gs macros; Lenny Muellner adapted them to SGML and implemented the book design. The GNU groff text formatter version 1.09 was used to generate PostScript output. The text and heading fonts are ITC Garamond Light and Garamond Book. The illustrations that appear in the book were created in Macromedia Freehand 5.0 by Chris Reilley.