"The Quick Python Book" Delivers - A Review
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|If you've ever wanted to learn Python or have a convenient desktop reference, this is the book for you. The author gives you a brief run-through of the language syntax and functional capabilities, then re-explores all aspects of the language as well as libraries and modules that extend Python into the space of practical applications. Database functions, Object-Oriented Programming, web management, and other in-demand functions are all available - "batteries included," as the author says.|
The author has provided a second edition of "The Quick Python Book"- and the resulting content is a wonderful combination of introduction to the language as well as a second pass that goes into all things Python in-depth.
The lead-off chapter, "About Python," sets excellent context for the rest of the book-- why you should use Python, what it does well, what it doesn't do so well, and why you should bother to learn Python. After that, we're off on a fast, efficient journey - how to install Python (including your choices of GUI vs. command line), brief introductions to data types and control flow, simple module creation, and an intro to object-oriented programming.
After that, the book goes from a light introduction to everything you need to know to a still-very-readable encyclopedic presentation with ample examples and explanations of every aspect of data types, control flow, functions, modules, and dictionaries. Experienced programmers will find the dictionary discussion quite interesting as the subject matter is treated even more broadly than the context of Python. Good stuff!
The next phase of our journey takes us into the space of where Python meets the operating system-- using the file system and managing data objects, with an introduction to pickling (Python's take on marshaling and unmarshaling) and shelving (persistent hashmap) objects.
Developers who are experienced with Tcl/Tk will enjoy the chapter that integrates Tkinter into Python for producing GUI objects-- and if this is unfamiliar subject matter, there is an adequate introduction and simple examples that will make the learning process straightforward.
The book also gives great treatment of regular expressions, partitioning of code into packages (and sub-packages), modules (and sub-modules), and a VERY good treatment of creating and debugging object classes.
I particularly enjoyed the author's suggestions regarding Python style, programming and testing practices, and sage advice in the big finish: the Zen of Python.
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