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LWN: Python Essential Reference [Review]

Nov 09, 1999, 16:56 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Corbet)

"Despite the increasingly high profile of the Python programming language, good books on the subject have been frustratingly scarce. The original Internet Programming With Python has been out of print for some time, and O'Reilly's offering has been felt by many to be not quite up to the level of that publisher's other books. So a new book about Python is certain to raise some degree of interest. Happily, the Python Essential Reference by David Beazley is a high quality work which should be well received by Python hackers everywhere."

"The book weighs in at just over 300 pages, which makes it positively skinny among the current crowd of technical books, which are seemingly sold by the pound. Those pages are packed however (partly due to the use of a relatively small font; some of the more visually-challenged readers may end up grumbling a bit). One thing this book does not have, unfortunately, is a lay-flat binding. Thus, to use it while working, one must put somebody else's 700-page tome over the book to hold it open."

"The Python Essential Reference is a marvel of conciseness. The tutorial introduction is dispensed with in ten pages, yet manages to touch on all the important features of the language. The next 75 pages go over the language in detail. Again, the treatment is very concise, but also complete. Your reviewer, who considers himself a reasonably experienced Python hacker, learned several things while reading those chapters."

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