It seems no matter what field you work in these days, if you work with computers you’ve probably heard of the language “Python”. Currently the core of scripting systems in tools varying from Nuke to Maya to ParaView, the amazing flexibility and simplicity of the language make it an attractive choice for both developers and users. This week’s recommended resources goes out to Python novices and experts alike, starting with O’Reilly’s “Learning Python“.
The authors of Learning Python show you enough essentials of the Python scripting language to enable you to begin solving problems right away, then reveal more powerful aspects of the language one at a time. This approach is sure to appeal to programmers and system administrators who have urgent problems and a preference for learning by semi-guided experimentation.First off, Learning Python shows the relationships among Python scripts and their interpreter (in a mostly platform-neutral way). Then, the authors address the mechanics of the language itself, providing illustrations of how Python conceives of numbers, strings, and other objects as well as the operators you use to work with them. Dictionaries, lists, tuples, and other data structures specific to Python receive plenty of attention including complete examples.
Authors Mark Lutz and David Ascher build on that fundamental information in their discussions of functions and modules, which evolve into coverage of namespaces, classes, and the object-oriented aspects of Python programming. There’s also information on creating graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for Python applications with Tkinter.
And if just learning the basics isn’t enough, then jump-start your Python skills with a full collection of code snippets with O’Reilly’s Python Cookbook.
Updated for Python 2.4, The Python Cookbook, 2nd Edition offers a wealth of useful code for all Python programmers, not just advanced practitioners. Like its predecessor, the new edition provides solutions to problems that Python programmers face everyday.
It now includes over 200 recipes that range from simple tasks, such as working with dictionaries and list comprehensions, to complex tasks, such as monitoring a network and building a templating system. This revised version also includes new chapters on topics such as time, money, and metaprogramming.
Here’s a list of additional topics covered:
- Manipulating text
- Searching and sorting
- Working with files and the filesystem
- Object-oriented programming
- Dealing with threads and processes
- System administration
- Interacting with databases
- Creating user interfaces
- Network and web programming
- Processing XML
- Distributed programming
- Debugging and testing
Another advantage of The Python Cookbook, 2nd Edition is its trio of authors–three well-known Python programming experts, who are highly visible on email lists and in newsgroups, and speak often at Python conferences.With scores of practical examples and pertinent background information, The Python Cookbook, 2nd Edition is the one source you need if you’re looking to build efficient, flexible, scalable, and well-integrated systems.
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