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Slashdot: Python Programming On Win32 [Book Review]

Apr 23, 2000, 21:38 (0 Talkback[s])

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"Python is an object-oriented scripting language, similiar in ideas (if not in style) to Perl. It's getting more and more popular, as people discover the benefits brought by its simple style. It's a natural under Windows, thanks to good object-orientation. Like many free software projects, though, the Windows port of Python has suffered from poor documentation. Until now, that is...."

"Python has made programming under Win32 really, really easy. Not that it didn't need to be easy before -- it's just that nobody knew how it worked. This book knocks that for six. It covers a basic introduction to Python, builds a slightly more advanced tutorial on that and then covers a load of other topics to finish off. The really big secret is that the information inside isn't just for Windows, though. Quite a lot of it is applicable elsewhere. Topics like printing output to PDF files, using POP3 and HTTP in python would be a useful addition to anybody using Python who isn't already aware of these things. If you've just started learning Python, there will be tons of ideas for you to experiment with."

"But the big thrust of the book is COM (or OLE, or ActiveX or whatever it's called this week). The book slides you gently in, explaining the ideas behind OO programming that you need to know to take advantage of it, before presenting simple demos of what COM can do and how it was achieved. Then it takes you on to bigger and better things, and specifically to an accounting system that was developed using Python/Win32. Please ignore the word "accounting" in the previous sentence! It's just an application that the book uses to demonstrate Python and COM working together and ways of using it (e.g. shoveling data straight into Excel from the aforementioned accounting system)."

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