Book review / advise

Discussion in 'Python' started by lallous, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. lallous

    lallous Guest

    lallous, Jun 22, 2010
    #1
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  2. lallous

    lallous Guest

    Hi again,

    Well, it seems the printed version of the manual. Can anyone suggest a
    nice book to learn more about the Python C Api?

    Thanks,
    Elias
     
    lallous, Jun 22, 2010
    #2
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  3. lallous

    James Mills Guest

    On Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 12:14 AM, lallous <> wrote:
    > Well, it seems the printed version of the manual. Can anyone suggest a
    > nice book to learn more about the Python C Api?


    It's not really a book, but how about the source ?

    If you're a competent C programmer you're not really
    going to even need a pretty book now are you ? :)
    (No phun intended!

    --james


    --
    --
    -- "Problems are solved by method"
     
    James Mills, Jun 22, 2010
    #3
  4. lallous

    lallous Guest

    Hi James,

    For me it is not a matter of competency to seek a book: organized,
    structured and uniform way of presenting information.

    Nonetheless, I always refer to the sources to get my questions
    answered...but a book (with the qualities I mentioned above) would
    make everyone's life easier.

    :)

    On Jun 22, 4:24 pm, James Mills <> wrote:
    > On Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 12:14 AM, lallous <> wrote:
    > > Well, it seems the printed version of the manual. Can anyone suggest a
    > > nice book to learn more about the Python C Api?

    >
    > It's not really a book, but how about the source ?
    >
    > If you're a competent C programmer you're not really
    > going to even need a pretty book now are you ? :)
    > (No phun intended!
    >
    > --james
    >
    > --
    > --
    > -- "Problems are solved by method"
     
    lallous, Jun 22, 2010
    #4
  5. lallous

    Tim Golden Guest

    On 22/06/2010 15:27, lallous wrote:
    > Hi James,
    >
    > For me it is not a matter of competency to seek a book: organized,
    > structured and uniform way of presenting information.
    >
    > Nonetheless, I always refer to the sources to get my questions
    > answered...but a book (with the qualities I mentioned above) would
    > make everyone's life easier.


    I've never come across a published book *only* on the C API. The
    main docs [1] aren't bad, in my opinion, although what suits one person
    won't necessarily suit another. Mark Lutz's Programming Python [2]
    includes a couple of chapters which are essentially an alternative
    take on the material in the docs. There are a few published articles
    around, although not many I think. And there's the C-API mailing list [3]
    which is quite helpful.

    TJG

    [1] http://docs.python.org/py3k/c-api/

    [2] http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596009250

    [3] http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/capi-sig
     
    Tim Golden, Jun 22, 2010
    #5
  6. lallous

    James Mills Guest

    On Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 12:27 AM, lallous <> wrote:
    > For me it is not a matter of competency to seek a book: organized,
    > structured and uniform way of presenting information.
    >
    > Nonetheless, I always refer to the sources to get my questions
    > answered...but a book (with the qualities I mentioned above) would
    > make everyone's life easier.


    Like I said, no "phun" intended :) I don't know any off hand
    and reading printed material is not something I enjoy!

    :)

    --James
     
    James Mills, Jun 22, 2010
    #6
  7. lallous

    lallous Guest

    On Jun 22, 4:49 pm, James Mills <> wrote:
    > On Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 12:27 AM, lallous <> wrote:
    > > For me it is not a matter of competency to seek a book: organized,
    > > structured and uniform way of presenting information.

    >
    > > Nonetheless, I always refer to the sources to get my questions
    > > answered...but a book (with the qualities I mentioned above) would
    > > make everyone's life easier.

    >
    > Like I said, no "phun" intended :) I don't know any off hand
    > and reading printed material is not something I enjoy!
    >


    Yes James, I understand. I did not mean to attack you or defend a
    point rather than make a point.

    I appreciate your feedback.

    Thank you Tim too.

    Regards,
    Elias
     
    lallous, Jun 22, 2010
    #7
  8. On 6/22/10 6:48 AM, lallous wrote:
    > Hello,
    >
    > I wonder if anyone read this:
    > http://www.amazon.com/PYTHON-2-6-Ex...=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277214352&sr=1-7
    > or this:
    > http://www.amazon.com/Python-Extending-Embedding-Documentation-Manual/dp/1441412743/ref=pd_sim_b_3
    >
    > Are these books just a print out of the manual that comes w/ Python
    > distribution or they are written in a different way and more organized
    > way?


    Uhh, that looks like a scam. Someone scraped the Python docs and bundled
    it up as a "book" to sell to naive people for outrageous prices; and put
    Guido's name on it to give it legitimacy.

    It also bundles up the *tutorial* for $22. There's a number of very
    good, large Python books which sell for that. Surely Fred L Drake and
    Gudio aren't really involved in this. I wonder if they even know about it.

    --

    Stephen Hansen
    ... Also: Ixokai
    ... Mail: me+list/python (AT) ixokai (DOT) io
    ... Blog: http://meh.ixokai.io/


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    Stephen Hansen, Jun 22, 2010
    #8
  9. lallous

    Terry Reedy Guest

    On 6/22/2010 11:49 AM, Stephen Hansen wrote:
    > On 6/22/10 6:48 AM, lallous wrote:
    >> Hello,
    >>
    >> I wonder if anyone read this:
    >> http://www.amazon.com/PYTHON-2-6-Ex...=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277214352&sr=1-7
    >> or this:
    >> http://www.amazon.com/Python-Extending-Embedding-Documentation-Manual/dp/1441412743/ref=pd_sim_b_3
    >>
    >> Are these books just a print out of the manual that comes w/ Python
    >> distribution or they are written in a different way and more organized
    >> way?

    >
    > Uhh, that looks like a scam. Someone scraped the Python docs and bundled
    > it up as a "book" to sell to naive people for outrageous prices;


    Various people have asked on this list for printed versions of the docs.
    PSF has never provided them. As I once read the license, it allows
    anyone to do so, and charge whatever price. I considered doing this once
    myself, but they seem to have beaten me to it ...

    Except that there is one possible scam aspect -- there is no version
    listed on the cover. A reviewer of the ref manual said his was for
    3.0.1. Selling that now as the Python 3 Ref Manual (there is no such
    thing) *is* a scam. There is no indication that it has been undated. If
    I were to do this, I would be honest in this respect and publish the
    "Python 3.1.2 Refence Manual", etc. Much more work to redo, better
    service. I would publish through print-on-demand so there is no inventory.

    Given editorial and administrative costs, printing cost, bookseller
    markup, and "For each copy sold $1 will be donated to the Python
    Software Foundation by the publisher", the price is not unreasonable.
    The fixed costs have to be amortized over an unknown and probably not
    large sales base. The standard author royalty might be $2, so they are
    not saving that much on that score.

    > and put Guido's name on it to give it legitimacy.


    Guido and Fred Drake *were* the original author and editor and were once
    listed as such. I am not sure who or what else the publishers should
    list. Python Development Community ? (which includes me for snippets of
    the docs). The license requires that they *not* put themselves as the
    authors.

    > It also bundles up the *tutorial* for $22. There's a number of very
    > good, large Python books which sell for that. Surely Fred L Drake and
    > Gudio aren't really involved in this. I wonder if they even know about it.


    You would have to ask them. Perhaps the PSF should publish each edition
    of the manuals. Assembly of the pdfs for say, Lulu (a print-on-demand
    publisher) could probably be pretty well automated with Python and
    Sphinx. There is already a .pdf version produced, but it would need some
    tweaking. And this would need someone's time.

    --
    Terry Jan Reedy
     
    Terry Reedy, Jun 22, 2010
    #9
  10. On 6/22/10 11:01 AM, Terry Reedy wrote:
    > On 6/22/2010 11:49 AM, Stephen Hansen wrote:
    >> Uhh, that looks like a scam. Someone scraped the Python docs and bundled
    >> it up as a "book" to sell to naive people for outrageous prices;

    >
    > Various people have asked on this list for printed versions of the docs.
    > PSF has never provided them. As I once read the license, it allows
    > anyone to do so, and charge whatever price. I considered doing this once
    > myself, but they seem to have beaten me to it ...


    Its not a question of if it is illegal, or even a copyright violation.
    You can take Python itself and bundle it and sell it if you want.
    "Permitted" doesn't mean its not still a scam-- that unsuspecting people
    who don't quite know the difference aren't going to see this and buy it
    instead of one of the real books out there (with real editing and
    administrative costs) that'd be much better use of it.

    Because this book is by Guido himself.

    > Except that there is one possible scam aspect -- there is no version
    > listed on the cover. A reviewer of the ref manual said his was for
    > 3.0.1. Selling that now as the Python 3 Ref Manual (there is no such
    > thing) *is* a scam. There is no indication that it has been undated. If
    > I were to do this, I would be honest in this respect and publish the
    > "Python 3.1.2 Refence Manual", etc. Much more work to redo, better
    > service. I would publish through print-on-demand so there is no inventory.


    You give them far more credit then I think they deserve; they're going
    and taking:

    http://docs.python.org/py3k/tutorial/index.html

    And bundling that little section up together as a "book" and charging
    over $22 for those hundred odd pages. The whole manual would end up
    costing you $60+ -- with another $50 or so for the 'extending' then
    'embedding' and 'distribution' "book" they are making.

    Its like those services which go and scrape up a few vaguely-related
    Wikipedia articles and package them as a "book".

    > Given editorial and administrative costs, printing cost, bookseller
    > markup, and "For each copy sold $1 will be donated to the Python
    > Software Foundation by the publisher", the price is not unreasonable.
    > The fixed costs have to be amortized over an unknown and probably not
    > large sales base. The standard author royalty might be $2, so they are
    > not saving that much on that score.


    We have dramatically different definitions of "reasonable" price, then.

    >> and put Guido's name on it to give it legitimacy.

    >
    > Guido and Fred Drake *were* the original author and editor and were once
    > listed as such. I am not sure who or what else the publishers should
    > list. Python Development Community ? (which includes me for snippets of
    > the docs). The license requires that they *not* put themselves as the
    > authors.


    Yes, he was the original author; yes, the other he was the original editor.

    "By Guido van Rossum" on a book cover, with "Fred L. Drake (Editor)" on
    same cover, conveys something though. For one thing, people will assume
    Guido had a direct hand in this: did he? And that Fred was involved in
    editing (and since at least one person on one of the Amazon sales
    remarked of how horribly the web->book transition was done, makes him
    look bad).

    There are ways you can credit the authors of the real documentation and
    not flagrantly cash in on their reputation to sell (for outrageous prices).

    > You would have to ask them. Perhaps the PSF should publish each edition
    > of the manuals. Assembly of the pdfs for say, Lulu (a print-on-demand
    > publisher) could probably be pretty well automated with Python and
    > Sphinx. There is already a .pdf version produced, but it would need some
    > tweaking. And this would need someone's time.


    I'm not saying such a thing couldn't be done; or that it shouldn't be
    done; or that someone producing the web docs->book doesn't even have a
    right to make a profit off of it. I'm not even saying what this company
    did isn't entirely permitted -- but permitted doesn't mean there's not
    some underhanded stuff going on at the same time and that its all
    above-the-board and ethical.

    --

    Stephen Hansen
    ... Also: Ixokai
    ... Mail: me+list/python (AT) ixokai (DOT) io
    ... Blog: http://meh.ixokai.io/


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    Stephen Hansen, Jun 22, 2010
    #10
  11. lallous

    John Bokma Guest

    Stephen Hansen <me+list/> writes:

    > On 6/22/10 6:48 AM, lallous wrote:
    >> Hello,
    >>
    >> I wonder if anyone read this:
    >> http://www.amazon.com/PYTHON-2-6-Ex...=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277214352&sr=1-7
    >> or this:
    >> http://www.amazon.com/Python-Extending-Embedding-Documentation-Manual/dp/1441412743/ref=pd_sim_b_3
    >>
    >> Are these books just a print out of the manual that comes w/ Python
    >> distribution or they are written in a different way and more organized
    >> way?

    >
    > Uhh, that looks like a scam.


    Uh, it looks like you're making a lot of drama and innuendo where none
    is required. The OP links show books which have *clearly* the version in
    the title. As for the 3 version, that's not different from the other
    books on 3 in my experience. For example the excellent (IMO) "Programming
    in Python 3: A Complete Introduction to the Python Language" (30 USD)
    just came out with a 2nd edition a month or 2 after I had bought the
    first. So if this is a scam how is publishing an "updated" version
    shortly after the first version, each book about 30 USD? (Mind, I am not
    complaining, I am happy that Mark decided to make an updated version
    available, I own both editions).

    > Someone scraped the Python docs and bundled
    > it up as a "book" to sell to naive people for outrageous prices; and put
    > Guido's name on it to give it legitimacy.
    >
    > It also bundles up the *tutorial* for $22. There's a number of very
    > good, large Python books which sell for that. Surely Fred L Drake and
    > Gudio aren't really involved in this. I wonder if they even know about
    > it.


    At 304 pages I think 22 USD is a reasonable price. Again, you make a lot
    of drama where there is none.

    And the product description makes /very clear/ what it's about: This is
    a printed edition of the official Python documentation from the PYTHON
    2.6.1 distribution. For each copy sold $1 will be donated to the PYTHON
    SOFTWARE FOUNDATION by the publisher.

    Now let's hope that your asshat behaviour doesn't stop companies like
    this to continue to print those books. I have considered to buy the
    complete set a few times. And I hope you're not calling me naive...

    --
    John Bokma j3b

    Hacking & Hiking in Mexico - http://johnbokma.com/
    http://castleamber.com/ - Perl & Python Development
     
    John Bokma, Jun 22, 2010
    #11
  12. lallous

    alex23 Guest

    John Bokma <> wrote:
    > Now let's hope that your asshat behaviour doesn't stop companies like
    > this to continue to print those books. I have considered to buy the
    > complete set a few times. And I hope you're not calling me naive...


    Given the current propensity for people to scrape web sites like
    Wikipedia and publish them on Amazon without the rights holders'
    consent, my initial impression was exactly the same as Stephen's. I
    don't think there's anything contractually binding about the product
    description that would guarantee the PSF even see any returns at all.
    But hey, as long as the page _looks_ and _sounds_ official, it must
    be, right?

    Let's hope that _your_ asshat behaviour isn't responsible for people
    being conned and ripped off.
     
    alex23, Jun 23, 2010
    #12
  13. On 6/22/10 1:09 PM, John Bokma wrote:
    > Now let's hope that your asshat behaviour doesn't stop companies like
    > this to continue to print those books. I have considered to buy the
    > complete set a few times. And I hope you're not calling me naive...


    Excuse me?

    I *have* seen people burned by confusion over situations *extremely*
    similar to this; there's quite a lot of content which is being scraped
    off of the internet and bundled into "books" and posted up on Amazon and
    the like. From both technical sources and things like Wikipedia.

    Yes. I read every single word available on the page. Yes. I read the
    claims that they are donating some proceeds to the PSF. Yes, I read that
    it (very poorly) identified what version of Python it was covering.

    Yes, it looks sort of above board visually. That doesn't mean it is: and
    considering I have *experience* dealing with things that look a lot like
    this that *are* scams, I wondered. So I spoke up and asked to see if
    anyone knew if it was really legit, after I found no evidence in a
    couple Google searches of any legitimate or even quasi-existing entity
    behind the products.

    If being concerned about fellow Python-folks possibly getting ripped off
    makes me an asshat, so be it. Go y'know-what yourself.

    --

    Stephen Hansen
    ... Also: Ixokai
    ... Mail: me+list/python (AT) ixokai (DOT) io
    ... Blog: http://meh.ixokai.io/


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    Stephen Hansen, Jun 23, 2010
    #13
  14. lallous

    John Bokma Guest

    Stephen Hansen <me+list/> writes:

    > I *have* seen people burned by confusion over situations *extremely*
    > similar to this;


    But is it? You didn't even ask yourself that question.

    > If being concerned about fellow Python-folks possibly getting ripped off
    > makes me an asshat, so be it. Go y'know-what yourself.


    If this publisher is legimate you might very well be denying
    people -- like I said I am interested -- from getting a print-out in the
    future just because /you/ cried wolf and called them scammers.

    --
    John Bokma j3b

    Hacking & Hiking in Mexico - http://johnbokma.com/
    http://castleamber.com/ - Perl & Python Development
     
    John Bokma, Jun 23, 2010
    #14
  15. lallous

    John Bokma Guest

    alex23 <> writes:

    > John Bokma <> wrote:
    >> Now let's hope that your asshat behaviour doesn't stop companies like
    >> this to continue to print those books. I have considered to buy the
    >> complete set a few times. And I hope you're not calling me naive...

    >
    > Given the current propensity for people to scrape web sites like
    > Wikipedia and publish them on Amazon without the rights holders'
    > consent,


    Can you explain were exactly it states that you can't print a book out
    of wikipedia articles?:
    http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Terms_of_Use

    > my initial impression was exactly the same as Stephen's. I
    > don't think there's anything contractually binding about the product
    > description that would guarantee the PSF even see any returns at all.
    > But hey, as long as the page _looks_ and _sounds_ official, it must
    > be, right?


    And if it looks like a scam, it must be, right?

    > Let's hope that _your_ asshat behaviour isn't responsible for people
    > being conned and ripped off.


    Yeah, and let's hope that your asshat behaviour doesn't stop this
    publisher from printing material that people like me actually want to buy.

    --
    John Bokma j3b

    Hacking & Hiking in Mexico - http://johnbokma.com/
    http://castleamber.com/ - Perl & Python Development
     
    John Bokma, Jun 23, 2010
    #15
  16. On 6/22/10 9:45 PM, John Bokma wrote:
    > Stephen Hansen <me+list/> writes:
    >
    >> I *have* seen people burned by confusion over situations *extremely*
    >> similar to this;

    >
    > But is it? You didn't even ask yourself that question.


    Yes. I did.

    I don't really make a point of publishing internal dialog on mailing
    lists for you to determine though, so I can see the confusion.

    >> If being concerned about fellow Python-folks possibly getting ripped off
    >> makes me an asshat, so be it. Go y'know-what yourself.

    >
    > If this publisher is legimate you might very well be denying
    > people -- like I said I am interested -- from getting a print-out in the
    > future just because /you/ cried wolf and called them scammers.


    Uh, yeah. Okay.

    The level of utter absurdity in that statement is off the charts.

    I am not off starting some great interweb campaign to bring them down.
    I'm not logging into Amazon and down-rating all the books and giving
    them scathing reviews. I haven't notified any agencies (from Amazon, to
    the PSF) who may be interested in the scam (if it is a scam) to try to
    get action done. I haven't even considered registering
    sohobooksisascam.com to try to get the word out. Not that having an
    anti-website is any good when there's no website to go all anti against,
    but whatever.

    On a mailing list, a guy with no real influence or and absolutely no
    importance, questioned the validity of the publisher and the legitimacy
    and ethical behavior they're doing.

    If they can't stand up to one question-- they aren't legitimate.

    I "deny" nothing to anyone by raising a concern. If the concern is
    unfounded, great. If it isn't, then some people will be saved some grief.

    --

    Stephen Hansen
    ... Also: Ixokai
    ... Mail: me+list/python (AT) ixokai (DOT) io
    ... Blog: http://meh.ixokai.io/


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    Stephen Hansen, Jun 23, 2010
    #16
  17. On 6/22/10 9:48 PM, John Bokma wrote:
    > alex23 <> writes:
    >> Given the current propensity for people to scrape web sites like
    >> Wikipedia and publish them on Amazon without the rights holders'
    >> consent,

    >
    > Can you explain were exactly it states that you can't print a book out
    > of wikipedia articles?:
    > http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Terms_of_Use


    There's a difference between what is legal, and what is ethical. There
    are many, many people who re-use Wikipedia content in ethical ways and
    some even make money off of it. That's fine.

    Its when you package it up in such a way that the buyer doesn't realize
    what they're buying, that's where the problem comes-- and that's what is
    happening quite a lot these days.

    >> my initial impression was exactly the same as Stephen's. I
    >> don't think there's anything contractually binding about the product
    >> description that would guarantee the PSF even see any returns at all.
    >> But hey, as long as the page _looks_ and _sounds_ official, it must
    >> be, right?

    >
    > And if it looks like a scam, it must be, right?


    If it looks like a scam, some due-diligence and concern is appropriate.
    Especially when asked by someone like the OP who is not you, is not
    sophisticated in their knowledge of the community and the resources
    available to it.

    If it looks like a scam, take care personally. If it looks like a scam
    and someone is asking about it, you don't sit by and say nothing. That's
    inhuman.

    --

    Stephen Hansen
    ... Also: Ixokai
    ... Mail: me+list/python (AT) ixokai (DOT) io
    ... Blog: http://meh.ixokai.io/


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    Stephen Hansen, Jun 23, 2010
    #17
  18. lallous

    John Bokma Guest

    Stephen Hansen <me+list/> writes:

    > On 6/22/10 9:48 PM, John Bokma wrote:


    [..]

    > Its when you package it up in such a way that the buyer doesn't realize
    > what they're buying, that's where the problem comes-- and that's what is
    > happening quite a lot these days.


    Which is not the case here.

    > If it looks like a scam, take care personally. If it looks like a scam
    > and someone is asking about it, you don't sit by and say nothing. That's
    > inhuman.


    Yelling scam because you have a gut feeling is probably human, but I
    wouldn't call it ethical.

    --
    John Bokma j3b

    Hacking & Hiking in Mexico - http://johnbokma.com/
    http://castleamber.com/ - Perl & Python Development
     
    John Bokma, Jun 23, 2010
    #18
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