How did you learn Python?

Discussion in 'Python' started by Shawn Milo, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. Shawn Milo

    Shawn Milo Guest

    I was just wondering what the best books were for learning Python.

    Which books are good for getting started, and which should be saved for
    later, or or not useful except as a reference for the learned?

    I have a decent programming background in VB, JavaScript, VBScript,
    Net.Data (IBM's macro language), regular expressions, and a teensy bit of
    Perl. My point is, I don't want something that is going to explain the basic
    programming concepts, but does give a good introduction to Python-specific
    things. Then, once I know how to get the job done, I would like a good book
    or two at the intermediate to advanced level, to learn how to write really good code.

    I understand that resources such as this list and Google searches have all the answers,
    but it seems like a more structured tool, such as a book or formal class, would be
    of great benefit to me. The other languages I have used were picked up because of the
    need to get a job done. As a result, I am able to get the job done, but any experienced
    coder can show me six more efficient ways to do what I'm doing. I'm new to
    Python, and I want to do this one right. I believe that Python will be
    around for a good, long time, and it matches my values as an Open-Source/Linux
    supporter, while having relevance in the Windows and Mac world, as well.
    Plus, it looks like it was designed extremely well, and I'm excited about the
    principles I've read about.

    Thanks,
    Shawn
     
    Shawn Milo, Dec 3, 2004
    #1
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  2. Am Fri, 03 Dec 2004 09:54:36 -0500 schrieb Shawn Milo:

    > I was just wondering what the best books were for learning Python.
    >
    > Which books are good for getting started, and which should be saved for
    > later, or or not useful except as a reference for the learned?


    Hi,

    I learned a lot by reading the python cookbook.

    Thomas

    --
    Thomas G├╝ttler, http://www.thomas-guettler.de/
     
    Thomas Guettler, Dec 3, 2004
    #2
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  3. Shawn Milo

    Harry George Guest

    "Shawn Milo" <> writes:

    > I was just wondering what the best books were for learning Python.
    >
    > Which books are good for getting started, and which should be saved for
    > later, or or not useful except as a reference for the learned?
    >
    > I have a decent programming background in VB, JavaScript, VBScript,
    > Net.Data (IBM's macro language), regular expressions, and a teensy bit of
    > Perl. My point is, I don't want something that is going to explain the basic
    > programming concepts, but does give a good introduction to Python-specific
    > things. Then, once I know how to get the job done, I would like a good book
    > or two at the intermediate to advanced level, to learn how to write really good code.
    >
    > I understand that resources such as this list and Google searches have all the answers,
    > but it seems like a more structured tool, such as a book or formal class, would be
    > of great benefit to me. The other languages I have used were picked up because of the
    > need to get a job done. As a result, I am able to get the job done, but any experienced
    > coder can show me six more efficient ways to do what I'm doing. I'm new to
    > Python, and I want to do this one right. I believe that Python will be
    > around for a good, long time, and it matches my values as an Open-Source/Linux
    > supporter, while having relevance in the Windows and Mac world, as well.
    > Plus, it looks like it was designed extremely well, and I'm excited about the
    > principles I've read about.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Shawn



    For those who already know scripting, Beazley's "Python Essential
    Reference" is great. It *briefly* shows you how to do in python what
    you already know how to do elsewhere. Other people tell me
    "Essential" is too terse for learning and they are more comfortable
    with Quick Python or Learning Python.

    For more idioms and design patterns, see the Python Cookbook for
    specific tasks, and then read the "example" or "sample" code with the
    various add-on modules you happen to install.

    For day in and day out reference, have the python html documentation
    on your machine and a bookmark to it. Then read the "Library
    Reference" whenever you need to remember the semantics/syntax of a
    feature.

    --

    6-6M21 BCA CompArch Design Engineering
    Phone: (425) 294-4718
     
    Harry George, Dec 3, 2004
    #3
  4. Shawn Milo wrote:
    > How did you learn Python?
    >
    > I was just wondering what the best books were for learning Python.


    If you're open to options besides ink-on-tree, this is how I did it:

    I read the official tutorial, trying stuff out in the interactive
    interpreter when I didn't get something/had questions. Read the first
    couple of sections of the Library Reference (especially the Built-in
    objects/functions), skimming when you get to those long lists of
    functions/objects. Decided "for language lawyers" was likely a joke;
    read/skimmed the Language Reference (turns out it's half a joke). Then I
    lurked on comp.lang.python.

    I've since picked up a few books & looked at highly recommended on-line
    tutorials. For the most part, they mainly repeat the stuff in the
    official documentation and the stuff that isn't in there gets brought up
    on c.l.py eventually. But YMMV, and you may prefer other tutorials to
    the official one.

    BTW, I've found the trickiest part of learning python really can't be
    taught in books. I mean, it's stated in the books, but the words don't
    really help. It's understanding the philosophy behind the way Python
    does things, like the object/assignment model and object orientation,
    that's key. This understanding comes from experience, and I think it's
    something we're all still working on.

    P.S. I haven't said yet how much I've appreciated the excellent
    documetation the Python crew has put out. It was literally only an
    afternoon before I had completed the tutorial and had a good impression
    of what this "Python thing" was all about. I've since tried to do the
    same with other languages (eg. OCaml & TCL), but haven't had as much
    success. Kudos to Guido, Fred, and the others.
     
    Rocco Moretti, Dec 3, 2004
    #4
  5. Shawn Milo

    howardrh Guest

    "Shawn Milo" <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > I was just wondering what the best books were for learning Python.
    >
    > Which books are good for getting started, and which should be saved for
    > later, or or not useful except as a reference for the learned?



    If you have any interest in using Python for numerical computation
    take a look at Python Scripting for Computational Science by Hans
    Peter Langtangen. The book is quite expensive, about US $85, but well
    worth it in my opinion as it covers just about all of the available
    Python resources for numerical computation.
     
    howardrh, Dec 3, 2004
    #5
  6. Shawn Milo

    rakanishu Guest

    I started with the official tutorial, then Dive Into Python, followed
    by Learning Python. I also regularly read the python-tutor mail list.
     
    rakanishu, Dec 4, 2004
    #6
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