[svlug] Python text recommendations

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Thu Mar 31 01:39:57 PST 2005

On Wed, 30 Mar 2005 13:43:17 -0800 (PST)
Ian MacLure <ibm1130 at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

> I have occasion to write some Python scripts from time to time and I'm
> looking for a good comprehensive text on the language.  Do the
> Pythonistas out there have anything to recommend?  I was able to get
> what I needed for now out of the goodies python.org and ActiveState
> provide in their downloads but I want a good tactile reference to flip
> through.

I recently wrote the following to another questioner:

  Please take any advice I give with a large grain of salt.  I learned
  by just diving straight in with the language spec in one hand and a
  problem to solve in the other.  It is an approach that works well for
  me, but not well for most people.  That all said, appropriate excuses
  and arse covering done, I quite like "Dive Into Python" by Mark
  Pilgrim.  I'm not going to claim that it is the best Python book ever
  written (I've not read more than a few), but it seems decent enough,
  and takes a nice and relatively approachable tack to introducing the
  language without being either condescending or offensive.  You'll need
  to have a good grasp of programming concepts before you start
  (strings, loops, control flow etc), this is not an introduction to
  programming, but you shouldn't need to be anything like a career
  programmer to make good use of it.

  Oh, and perhaps even better, it's all online to read, checkout, and
  see if it really suits you first:


  I'm interested in what you think of it.  If it turns out that Dive
  Into Python just, well, dives in too fast too far and too hard for
  your digestion then one of the short courses listed at the bottom of
  this page may be better suited as a first step:


  I know I hit Guido's mini course at some point and thought it useful.

  Other than that I have both O'Reilly books and found
  them...acceptable.  Neither is great.  Both try hard.

  Poking about the Python.org site turned up the following:


  But I can't talk well or badly about them as I've not read/used them.

J C Lawrence
---------(*)                Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas.
claw at kanga.nu               He lived as a devil, eh?
http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/  Evil is a name of a foeman, as I live.

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