I have read about web2py on several occasions, but never used it myself. Then a few weeks ago, a representative from Packt Publishing contacted me about reviewing their new cookbook about web2py. It’s written by seven authors, namely: Richard Gordon, Pablo Martin Mulone, Mariano Reingart, Bruno Cezar Rocha, Massimo Di Pierro, Michele Comitini and Jonathan Lundell. I have to admit that I wondered how you could have a coherent book with so many authors, but since it’s a cookbook, it works out pretty well.
- Why I picked it up: Partly because Packt offered me a review copy and partially because I wanted to see how web2py differed from django and TurboGears
- Why I finished it: I finished it out of duty to the publisher and my audience. Cookbooks are hard to read straight through and tend to be kind of boring.
- I’d give it to: Beginner to intermediate developers wanting to learn some new tricks with web2py
Paperback, Kindle (mobi) or PDF and epub (from Packt)
We’ll start off with some of the bad as I like to finish with the good. I found lots of silly issues that a normal spell check program should have flagged. The writing isn’t compelling either, but most cookbooks I’ve read are that way. It may be dry, but it does a decent job of explaining most of the recipes. Some are explained more than others. This is also pretty standard in a cookbook. I’m not knocking the authors for the poor editing as that’s not their job and I can tell that several if not all are not native English speakers. I’m sure they did their best.
What I liked most is that this book actually has recipes that I not only thought were interesting but that I could see myself actually using. There are recipes for integrating PayPal payments, creating CAPTCHAs, building Facebook and Reddit clones, various web service consumer recipes, and some debugging stuff at the end. I was especially interested in the PayPal stuff as I just haven’t seen much in the Python web framework world about payment systems in general.
Developers who would get the most out of this book are probably beginners to intermediate web2py programmers who would like to increase their skill set. I think there are lots of nifty tricks to be learned from this book and I hope to try them out at some point.