Programming newbie coming from Ruby: a few Python questions

Discussion in 'Python' started by simonharrison@fastmail.co.uk, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. Guest

    Hi all. I've been try to learn ruby for a few months but I'm about
    ready to give up. The available books either assume a programming
    background, or are out of date. Anyway, I think python may suit me more
    due to its 'theres one way to do it' philosophy (hope the quote is
    right)! Another quote that I liked was:

    'Clever is not considered a compliment in Python.' (don't know where I
    read that...)

    In Ruby, there are many ways to do the same thing and cleverness seems
    to be held in high regard. These attitudes are not too helpful for
    beginners in my experience. Anyway, enough waffle.

    What books and tutorials are recommended to learn Python? The tutorial
    that comes with Python is great and has given me a good overview but I
    think I'd benefit from some programming projects, now I have a little
    understanding of how Python works.

    Ideally, I'd like a whole series of projects where I'm walked through
    how to go about writing real Python. The way I look at it, nobody
    learnt to build a house just from reading about building materials!

    Any other tips for getting up to speed with Python fairly quickly will
    be greatly appreciated.

    If anyone can help, thanks very much
     
    , Aug 1, 2006
    #1
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  2. Ravi Teja Guest

    > 'Clever is not considered a compliment in Python.' (don't know where I
    > read that...)


    On a similar note.

    "Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place.
    Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by
    definition, not smart enough to debug it."

    -- Brian Kernighan of C
     
    Ravi Teja, Aug 1, 2006
    #2
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  3. wrote:

    > 'Clever is not considered a compliment in Python.' (don't know where I
    > read that...)


    "To describe something as clever is NOT considered a compliment in the
    Python culture."--Alex Martelli, Python Cookbook 2nd Ed. pg. 230 (a
    great book for learning by doing, after you have the basics down)

    Do you have Python installed yet?

    If not, consider

    http://www.richarddooling.com/index.php/category/geekophilia.

    You sound like a nonprogrammer (except for your Ruby experience), so
    you probably want:

    http://wiki.python.org/moin/BeginnersGuide/NonProgrammers

    Good luck! Have fun.

    rd
     
    BartlebyScrivener, Aug 1, 2006
    #3
  4. wrote:
    > Hi all. I've been try to learn ruby for a few months but I'm about
    > ready to give up. The available books either assume a programming
    > background, or are out of date. Anyway, I think python may suit me more
    > due to its 'theres one way to do it' philosophy (hope the quote is
    > right)! Another quote that I liked was:
    >
    > 'Clever is not considered a compliment in Python.' (don't know where I
    > read that...)
    >
    > In Ruby, there are many ways to do the same thing and cleverness seems
    > to be held in high regard. These attitudes are not too helpful for
    > beginners in my experience. Anyway, enough waffle.
    >
    > What books and tutorials are recommended to learn Python? The tutorial
    > that comes with Python is great and has given me a good overview but I
    > think I'd benefit from some programming projects, now I have a little
    > understanding of how Python works.
    >
    > Ideally, I'd like a whole series of projects where I'm walked through
    > how to go about writing real Python. The way I look at it, nobody
    > learnt to build a house just from reading about building materials!
    >
    > Any other tips for getting up to speed with Python fairly quickly will
    > be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > If anyone can help, thanks very much

    Of course there's the O'Reilly set: Learning Python, Programming
    Python, Python in a Nutshell, etc. I found them great for an overview
    and capabilities look at the language, but like you I prefer a more
    project-oriented approach. They are good to have on your reference
    shelf though.

    The best book I've found for "teaching" you the language is from Deitel
    and Deitel: Python, How to Program. It's outdated in that is uses
    Python 2.2 but the vast majority of concepts still apply; it does
    mention when certain features are deprecated so you shouldn't have a
    problem.

    It is a college textbook so it goes into detail in many areas plus it
    has the usual quizes, chapter summaries, and tests. The tests are
    usually easy enough to figure out but with enough difficulty to make
    them challenging. It covers a wide range of topics, from CGI and XML
    to multithreading and networking.

    It's normally $90-$100 but you should be able to find it used for <$40.
     
    crystalattice, Aug 1, 2006
    #4
  5. John Salerno Guest

    crystalattice wrote:

    > Of course there's the O'Reilly set: Learning Python, Programming
    > Python, Python in a Nutshell, etc.


    Yep, Learning Python is the best to start. I haven't tried Programming
    Python yet (new edition soon), and once you understand Python, Python in
    a Nutshell is an excellent reference and also teaches you how a lot of
    things work under the hood.

    For plenty of examples and "learn by doing," you can check out Dive Into
    Python. And while I don't really recommend Beginning Python to *learn*
    the language, there are 10 projects at the end of the book that you can
    work on once you have a grasp of the language.
     
    John Salerno, Aug 1, 2006
    #5
  6. Ravi Teja wrote:

    >> 'Clever is not considered a compliment in Python.' (don't know where I
    >> read that...)

    >
    > On a similar note.
    >
    > "Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place.
    > Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by
    > definition, not smart enough to debug it."
    >
    > -- Brian Kernighan of C


    Well, if you are talking about C, that is *definitely* true. I would think
    that would be less the case for languages like Java, Python, PHP, etc.

    Of course, it's all what you really mean by "clever". To me, being "clever"
    partly means writing code without bugs in the first place, so there is
    nothing that needs debugging!!!!!!!!

    Well, if anyone can pull that sword from the stone...!

    --
    -- Edmond Dantes, CMC
    And Now for something Completely Different:
    http://bridal-registry.weddingbelljoy.com
    http://3D.CraftyMen.com
    http://lapis.StellarChemistry.com
    http://civil.LesbianGetTogether.com
    http://workstation.funiturenow.com
    http://cosmetics.whitegirlstuff.com
    http://strapless.WomanNightlife.com
     
    Edmond Dantes, Aug 1, 2006
    #6
  7. gene tani Guest

    wrote:
    > Hi all. I've been try to learn ruby for a few months but I'm about
    > ready to give up. The available books either assume a programming
    > background, or are out of date. Anyway,


    http://www.awaretek.com/book.html
     
    gene tani, Aug 2, 2006
    #7
  8. For a tutorial try the Python Tutorial @ http://docs.python.org/tut/

    For a book try "Learning Python" from O'Reilly Press

    For reference try the Python library reference @
    http://docs.python.org/lib/lib.html

    For another good book try "Dive Into Python" @
    http://diveintopython.org/
    It is a book you can view online or download for free. It is written by
    Mark Pilgrim. If you like it, please support the author and buy a
    printed copy:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1590593561/ref=nosim/102-5606503-6853720?n=283155

    Also take a look at common recipes on how to do things when you get
    more used to Python @
    http://aspn.activestate.com/ASPN/Cookbook/Python/

    Hope this helps,
    Nick V.



    wrote:
    > Hi all. I've been try to learn ruby for a few months but I'm about
    > ready to give up. The available books either assume a programming
    > background, or are out of date. Anyway, I think python may suit me more
    > due to its 'theres one way to do it' philosophy (hope the quote is
    > right)! Another quote that I liked was:
    >
    > 'Clever is not considered a compliment in Python.' (don't know where I
    > read that...)
    >
    > In Ruby, there are many ways to do the same thing and cleverness seems
    > to be held in high regard. These attitudes are not too helpful for
    > beginners in my experience. Anyway, enough waffle.
    >
    > What books and tutorials are recommended to learn Python? The tutorial
    > that comes with Python is great and has given me a good overview but I
    > think I'd benefit from some programming projects, now I have a little
    > understanding of how Python works.
    >
    > Ideally, I'd like a whole series of projects where I'm walked through
    > how to go about writing real Python. The way I look at it, nobody
    > learnt to build a house just from reading about building materials!
    >
    > Any other tips for getting up to speed with Python fairly quickly will
    > be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > If anyone can help, thanks very much
     
    Nick Vatamaniuc, Aug 2, 2006
    #8
  9. a écrit :
    ....
    > Ideally, I'd like a whole series of projects where I'm walked through
    > how to go about writing real Python. The way I look at it, nobody
    > learnt to build a house just from reading about building materials!


    Take a look at "Dive Into Python" from Mark Pilgrim, good examples with
    comments.

    http://diveintopython.org/

    Its available as paper-print or as electronic reading.

    A+

    Laurent.
     
    Laurent Pointal, Aug 2, 2006
    #9
  10. wrote:
    > Hi all. I've been try to learn ruby for a few months but I'm about
    > ready to give up. The available books either assume a programming
    > background, or are out of date. Anyway, I think python may suit me more
    > due to its 'theres one way to do it' philosophy (hope the quote is
    > right)!


    Actually it's :
    "There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it."

    And FWIW, it's followed by:
    "Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you're Dutch."

    !-)

    NB : launch your Python interactive shell and type:

    import this

    to get the whole thing.


    > Another quote that I liked was:
    >
    > 'Clever is not considered a compliment in Python.' (don't know where I
    > read that...)


    I don't remember having read this, but it probably refers to Brian
    Kernighan:
    "Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place.
    Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are,
    by definition, not smart enough to debug it."


    > In Ruby, there are many ways to do the same thing and cleverness seems
    > to be held in high regard. These attitudes are not too helpful for
    > beginners in my experience. Anyway, enough waffle.
    >
    > What books and tutorials are recommended to learn Python?


    There are some recommandations on python.org:
    http://wiki.python.org/moin/PythonBooks
    http://www.python.org/doc/intros/

    Mark Lutz's "Programming Python" was a mostly good intermediate book,
    but it's a bit outdated now.

    > The tutorial
    > that comes with Python is great and has given me a good overview but I
    > think I'd benefit from some programming projects, now I have a little
    > understanding of how Python works.
    >
    > Ideally, I'd like a whole series of projects where I'm walked through
    > how to go about writing real Python. The way I look at it, nobody
    > learnt to build a house just from reading about building materials!


    Indeed. But you don't necessarily need to follow a tutorial for this -
    just think of some programs you'd like to write, and try to write them.
    You can ask for help and submit (at least parts of) your work for review
    here. FWIW, examples in books and tutorials are usually meant to help
    you graps some points, features, idioms and gotchas, and are seldom as
    complex and complete as "real" programs.

    > Any other tips for getting up to speed with Python fairly quickly will
    > be greatly appreciated.


    Lurking here may be a good idea...

    --
    bruno desthuilliers
    python -c "print '@'.join(['.'.join([w[::-1] for w in p.split('.')]) for
    p in ''.split('@')])"
     
    Bruno Desthuilliers, Aug 2, 2006
    #10
  11. jitya Guest

    wrote:

    > Hi all. I've been try to learn ruby for a few months but I'm about
    > ready to give up.


    Perfection is achieved only on the point of collapse. -- C.N. Parkinson


    Welcome to Python , apart from the tutorials whenever time permits do
    read this articles .

    Why Python : http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/3882
    The Python Paradox : http://www.paulgraham.com/pypar.html
    Why I Promote Python : http://www.prescod.net/python/why.html

    Regards
    Jitendra Nair
    Ensim India Pvt Ltd ,
    Pune , India



    The available books either assume a programming
    > background, or are out of date. Anyway, I think python may suit me more
    > due to its 'theres one way to do it' philosophy (hope the quote is
    > right)! Another quote that I liked was:
    >
    > 'Clever is not considered a compliment in Python.' (don't know where I
    > read that...)
    >
    > In Ruby, there are many ways to do the same thing and cleverness seems
    > to be held in high regard. These attitudes are not too helpful for
    > beginners in my experience. Anyway, enough waffle.
    >
    > What books and tutorials are recommended to learn Python? The tutorial
    > that comes with Python is great and has given me a good overview but I
    > think I'd benefit from some programming projects, now I have a little
    > understanding of how Python works.
    >
    > Ideally, I'd like a whole series of projects where I'm walked through
    > how to go about writing real Python. The way I look at it, nobody
    > learnt to build a house just from reading about building materials!
    >
    > Any other tips for getting up to speed with Python fairly quickly will
    > be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > If anyone can help, thanks very much
     
    jitya, Aug 2, 2006
    #11
  12. Ted Guest

    Ted, Aug 2, 2006
    #12
  13. Aahz Guest

    In article <>,
    crystalattice <> wrote:
    >
    >The best book I've found for "teaching" you the language is from Deitel
    >and Deitel: Python, How to Program. It's outdated in that is uses
    >Python 2.2 but the vast majority of concepts still apply; it does
    >mention when certain features are deprecated so you shouldn't have a
    >problem.


    The main problem with the Deitel book is that it does not, in fact,
    teach you how to program in Python. Instead, it teaches you how to
    program in Java using Python. (That's a little bit of an overstatement,
    admittedly, but not much of one.) There is also lots of incorrect
    information.
    --
    Aahz () <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

    "Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place.
    Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by
    definition, not smart enough to debug it." --Brian W. Kernighan
     
    Aahz, Aug 3, 2006
    #13
  14. I strongly recommend trying to come up with your own projects. Just
    pick small things that reflect something you actually want to do: maybe
    make a simple board game, or a few scripts to help you keep all your
    files organized, etc. Generally speaking I think it's easier to teach
    yourself a language if you have a project you care about finishing. I
    was pleasantly surprised by how easy python makes it to travel from "It
    would be cool if I could..." to finished product. In my own case, I'm
    a college student, and I wanted a program that could help me schedule
    my next semester's classes without conflicts and with the maximum sleep
    possible. That first "project" gave me a lot of good python
    experience, and I know use python all the time for "real life"
    applications.

    THN
     
    Thomas Nelson, Aug 3, 2006
    #14
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