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"Learning Python, Second Edition": An Updated Guide to the Core Python Language and Object-Oriented Programming

January 16, 2004

Sebastopol, CA--Portable, powerful, and a breeze to use, Python is the popular open source object-oriented programming language used for both standalone programs and scripting applications. Python is considered easy to learn, but there's no quicker way to mastery of the language than learning from an expert teacher. The new edition of Learning Python (O'Reilly, US $34.95) places readers in the capable hands of two expert teachers, Mark Lutz and David Ascher, whose friendly, well-structured prose has guided many a programmer to proficiency with the language.

Learning Python, Second Edition offers programmers a comprehensive learning tool for Python as well as a thorough introduction to object- oriented programming in general. The book has been completely updated for the numerous language and class presentation changes that have taken place since the release of the first edition in 1999. In this edition, the authors cover the basic elements of the latest release of Python 2.3 and guide readers through its new features, such as list comprehensions, nested scopes, and iterators/generators.

Coauthor Mark Lutz notes that Python has continued to grow in popularity since the first edition of the book was released, and consequently the demand for an updated introduction to the language has grown even greater. "Moreover, there have been some important changes to the language that make it easier to write certain types of code than in the past," Lutz adds. "It's important that people coming to the language today get the current Python picture and adopt modern Python coding styles. The new edition of our book will help them do that."

Beyond language features, this edition of Learning Python also includes new content for less-experienced programmers derived from recent Python classes taught by the authors, including fresh overviews of object- oriented programming and dynamic typing, new discussions of program launch and configuration options, new coverage of documentation sources, and more. Where appropriate, the authors have also included new use cases to make the application of language features more concrete.

The first part of Learning Python gives readers the information they'll need to understand and construct programs in the Python language, including types, operators, statements, classes, functions, modules, and exceptions. The authors then present more advanced material, showing how Python performs common tasks by offering real applications and the libraries available for those applications. Each chapter ends with a series of exercises that will test the reader's newly acquired Python skills and measure understanding.

Learning Python, Second Edition is a self-paced book that allows readers to focus on the core Python language in depth. As they work through the book, they'll gain a deep and complete understanding of the Python language that will help them to understand the larger application-level examples that they'll encounter on their own.

Praise for the first edition:

"If the language had manuals, they would undoubtedly be the texts from O'Reilly & Associates...Learning Python and Programming Python are definitive treatments."
--Andrew Binstock, "SD Times," May 2003

"Without exaggeration, without hyperbole, without unfounded adulation I can honestly say that this book is one of the best computer language books I have ever read! I read this book cover to cover without becoming bored or lost. In fact, I read the first 80 pages in one sitting. The authors include enough information to be complete without making the chapters unbearably long. The beautiful thing about this book is that the authors strike a near perfect balance between providing useful examples and detailed explanations. Whether you are an experienced computer programmer or a complete novice, this book is perfect for learning the Python language. I would also recommend this book as a text for a course in object oriented programming. Mark Lutz and David Ascher allow the reader to have fun learning a new language. All computer books should strive to be as fun to read and informative as Learning Python."
--Andrew Morrison, CedarLug, July 2001

"The computer book of the month is Mark Lutz's and David Ascher's Learning Python. This is a good general introduction, not only to Python, but to object-oriented programming languages in general."
--Jerry Pournelle, Byte.com, May 2001

Further reviews can be found at: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/lpython/reviews.html

Additional Resources:

Learning Python, Second Edition
Mark Lutz and David Ascher
ISBN 0-596-00281-5, 591 pages, $34.95 US, $50.95 CA
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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