Python changes

Discussion in 'Python' started by Craig McRoberts, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. First off, greetings from a newbie!

    Here's the deal. I gained a passable knowledge of Python nearly ten years ago. Then I decided a career in the computer sciences wasn't for me, and I let it go. Now I find myself back in the development arena, and I'd like to pick up Python again. How much has it changed in my ten years' absence? I've already resigned myself to starting over from the beginning, but are my books from that time period even worth using now?

    Thanks so much.

    Craig McRoberts
     
    Craig McRoberts, Oct 28, 2010
    #1
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  2. Craig McRoberts

    Seebs Guest

    On 2010-10-28, Craig McRoberts <> wrote:
    >I've already resigned
    >myself to starting over from the beginning, but are my books from
    >that time period even worth using now?


    Impression I get is mostly "no". I think you'll find life overall a lot
    better now, though. Programming languages tend to improve, with some
    very notable exceptions. :p

    -s
    --
    Copyright 2010, all wrongs reversed. Peter Seebach /
    http://www.seebs.net/log/ <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology) <-- get educated!
    I am not speaking for my employer, although they do rent some of my opinions.
     
    Seebs, Oct 28, 2010
    #2
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  3. Craig McRoberts

    Neil Cerutti Guest

    On 2010-10-28, Craig McRoberts <> wrote:
    > First off, greetings from a newbie!
    >
    > Here's the deal. I gained a passable knowledge of Python nearly
    > ten years ago. Then I decided a career in the computer sciences
    > wasn't for me, and I let it go. Now I find myself back in the
    > development arena, and I'd like to pick up Python again. How
    > much has it changed in my ten years' absence? I've already
    > resigned myself to starting over from the beginning, but are my
    > books from that time period even worth using now?
    >
    > Thanks so much.


    Ten years ago puts around the time of Python 2.1. Your books are
    indeed useless.

    Python's documentation contains an excellent summary of new
    features and changes dating back to Python 2.0.

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

    --
    Neil Cerutti
     
    Neil Cerutti, Oct 28, 2010
    #3
  4. Thanks for the prompt replies. Sounds like it's time to hit a bookstore.

    Craig McRoberts
     
    Craig McRoberts, Oct 28, 2010
    #4
  5. Craig McRoberts

    Teenan Guest

    On Thu, 2010-10-28 at 15:03 -0400, Craig McRoberts wrote:
    > Thanks for the prompt replies. Sounds like it's time to hit a bookstore.
    >
    > Craig McRoberts


    You could do a lot worse than getting 'Dive into Python' (There's even a
    nice new version just for python 3.0)

    hmmm bookstore.. those are the things they had before Amazon right? ;)
     
    Teenan, Oct 28, 2010
    #5
  6. Oh, I like to browse brick-and-mortar enough. But it's been forever since I've bought something there.

    Craig McRoberts

    On Oct 28, 2010, at 15:16, Teenan <> wrote:

    > On Thu, 2010-10-28 at 15:03 -0400, Craig McRoberts wrote:
    >> Thanks for the prompt replies. Sounds like it's time to hit a bookstore.
    >>
    >> Craig McRoberts

    >
    > You could do a lot worse than getting 'Dive into Python' (There's even a
    > nice new version just for python 3.0)
    >
    > hmmm bookstore.. those are the things they had before Amazon right? ;)
    >
    >
     
    Craig McRoberts, Oct 28, 2010
    #6
  7. Teenan, 28.10.2010 21:16:
    > On Thu, 2010-10-28 at 15:03 -0400, Craig McRoberts wrote:
    >> Thanks for the prompt replies. Sounds like it's time to hit a bookstore.

    >
    > You could do a lot worse than getting 'Dive into Python' (There's even a
    > nice new version just for python 3.0)


    Yes, and the thing I like most about the Py3 version is that the XML
    chapter has been rewritten completely. It's now based on ElementTree and
    even gives lxml.etree an intro.

    http://diveintopython3.org/xml.html

    That, if nothing else, is enough of a reason to read it instead of the much
    older Py2 version of the book.

    Stefan
     
    Stefan Behnel, Oct 29, 2010
    #7
  8. On Thu, 28 Oct 2010 14:14:43 -0400, Craig McRoberts wrote:

    > First off, greetings from a newbie!
    >
    > Here's the deal. I gained a passable knowledge of Python nearly ten
    > years ago. Then I decided a career in the computer sciences wasn't for
    > me, and I let it go. Now I find myself back in the development arena,
    > and I'd like to pick up Python again. How much has it changed in my ten
    > years' absence? I've already resigned myself to starting over from the
    > beginning, but are my books from that time period even worth using now?


    The one sentence summary: if you're on a tight budget, and want to re-
    learn Python on the cheap, you can reuse your old books, plus free
    resources on the web, but if you're in a hurry it will be easier to buy
    some new books.

    Longer version:

    Ten years ago would have been around version 1.5 or 2.0, give or take. As
    a language, Python has been very conservative. The basic syntax of Python
    1.5 still works. If you stick to Python 2.6 or 2.7, there have been
    virtually no backwards incompatible changes since version 1.5. The only
    exceptions I can think of:

    * some libraries have been dropped;
    * a change in the way hex() and oct() of negative numbers is displayed;
    * nested functions behave differently;
    * the occasional new keyword has been added (e.g. yield).

    Other than that, you can take virtually any example from Python 1.5 and
    run it in Python 2.7 and it should still work. It might not be the best
    way to solve the problem, but it should do it.

    Most of the changes from 1.5 to 2.7 have involved *adding* features,
    rather than taking them away. To learn the new features, read the Fine
    Manual, especially the What's New that comes out with every new version,
    or go out and buy a book covering the latest version.

    If you advance to Python 3.1, you can add to the list of backward
    incompatibilities:

    * minor differences in the way classes work;
    * print is now a function, not a statement;
    * strings are now Unicode, rather than bytes;
    * various functions and methods which used to return lists now return
    iterators;

    plus others I've forgotten. That makes a jump from 1.5 to 3.1 rather more
    problematic, but it can still be done -- the basic language is still
    almost identical, the syntax hasn't changed much, but there's a whole lot
    of new functionality that will make your life easier.



    --
    Steven
     
    Steven D'Aprano, Oct 29, 2010
    #8
  9. On Thu, 28 Oct 2010 20:16:45 +0100, Teenan wrote:

    > On Thu, 2010-10-28 at 15:03 -0400, Craig McRoberts wrote:
    >> Thanks for the prompt replies. Sounds like it's time to hit a
    >> bookstore.
    >>
    >> Craig McRoberts

    >
    > You could do a lot worse than getting 'Dive into Python' (There's even a
    > nice new version just for python 3.0)


    Not everyone is enamored of "Dive into Python". (Personally, I don't have
    an option on it.)

    http://oppugn.us/posts/1272050135.html

    I can, however, recommend "Learning Python" by Mark Lutz, although in
    fairness the version I read was way back in the Dark Ages of Python 1.5.


    > hmmm bookstore.. those are the things they had before Amazon right? ;)


    Yeah, back when it was possible to buy things without leaving digital
    traces that will be around forever.


    --
    Steven
     
    Steven D'Aprano, Oct 29, 2010
    #9
  10. Craig McRoberts

    rantingrick Guest

    On Oct 28, 2:16 pm, Teenan <> wrote:

    > hmmm bookstore.. those are the things they had before Amazon right? ;)


    hmm Amazon... Is that the place where you buy tutorials when you could
    instead get the same info for free with a little Google fu? ;-)
     
    rantingrick, Oct 29, 2010
    #10
  11. On Thursday 28 October 2010, 21:23:03 Craig McRoberts wrote:
    > Oh, I like to browse brick-and-mortar enough. But it's been forever
    > since I've bought something there.


    If you can get your hands on a copy of Mark Summerfield's Programming in
    Python3, check it out. He really raised the accustomed quality levels
    of technical writings for me.

    Pete

    > On Oct 28, 2010, at 15:16, Teenan <> wrote:
    > > On Thu, 2010-10-28 at 15:03 -0400, Craig McRoberts wrote:
    > >> Thanks for the prompt replies. Sounds like it's time to hit a
    > >> bookstore.
    > >>
    > >> Craig McRoberts

    > >
    > > You could do a lot worse than getting 'Dive into Python' (There's
    > > even a nice new version just for python 3.0)
    > >
    > > hmmm bookstore.. those are the things they had before Amazon right?
    > > ;)
     
    Hans-Peter Jansen, Oct 29, 2010
    #11
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