Last week I was contacted about a cool sounding book project on Kickstarter: Real Python for Web Development, featuring web2py by Michael Herman. I have to admit that I’m not familiar with Mr. Herman or the person who originally contacted me about the book, but since I enjoy reading Python books and this one sounded interesting, I thought I’d let my readers know about it too. You can support the project yourself if you want. He’s recently added some tutorials for Flask to the book, so you can learn a little about two Python web frameworks!
Entries tagged with “Books”.
Tue 19 Feb 2013
Tue 29 Jan 2013
I was approached by a representative from No Starch Press, the publisher of Python For Kids, to review their book. They provided me with a free dead tree copy and an eBook (PDF) version. This book appears to be in direct competition with Manning’s Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners by Sande. I’ll do a quick review and then you can read the more detailed review after the jump if you’re still interested.
- Why I picked it up: Primarily because I asked by the publisher to read it. However, I find these extreme beginner books interesting in their own right. I just didn’t want to spend my own money on it. It’s also a Python 3 book!
- Why I finished it: Actually, I didn’t finish it. The book is quite good, but it’s a beginner book and I ended up skimming it after I read about halfway through. But this is a well written book with an engaging writing style.
- I’d give it to: I would give this book to someone with kids in high school who are interested in programming in general or Python specifically.
Wed 8 Aug 2012
This week I bought Rick Copeland’s MongoDB with Python and Ming eBook from Amazon. It just came out in July 2012, so I figured I should check it out and see what all the fuss is with MongoDB and the whole NoSQL fad.
- Why I picked it up: Mainly because I’ve been interested in MongoDB for a while, the book was reasonably priced and I’ve read a little of his SQLAlchemy book. I think I may have even met the guy at PyCon a couple years ago too.
- Why I finished it: I almost always try to finish a book, especially if I’m going to review it. This one was hard though.
- I’d give it to: Someone who needed a quick text to get them up to speed on MongoDB and Ming
Fri 25 May 2012
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. (more…)
Sat 26 Nov 2011
This week, I discovered a new book on Python titled Treading on Python Vol. 1 by Matt Harrison. The book is only in draft form, so it’s still pretty rough, but the author was kind enough to send me a free copy in epub and mobi formats. I read part of it using EPUBReader, an add-on to Firefox so I could read it in my browser. Then I switched to the PC Kindle software to finish the book.
The book is your typical introductory text to Python. I felt like it was a tad shorter than some of the intro books I’ve read though, but that may be because it was an eBook. He covers what you would expect, but here’s a short list of topics:
- Installation of Python
- The Interpreter
- Numbers and Strings
- dir and help (introspection, although he never uses that word)
- Sequences (lists, tuples and dicts)
- Functions, Classes, and Methods
- File I/O
- Exceptions – very brief, doesn’t show how to make your own
He uses a few odd terms that I’ve never heard, like calling the double-underscore methods of Python “dunder methods” (like __init__ or __seq__). The only name I’ve ever heard for those are “magic methods”. He also says the following: It is common to hear in Python parlance of “truthy” or “falsey” (Kindle location 700) regarding bools and bool-like objects. I’ve read a lot of books on Python and never come across that before either. It’s no big deal, they just kind of jumped out at me and left me scratching my head.
Anyway, I can’t be too hard on it because it’s still only a draft. I did notice that some of the first sections in the book seem to get repeated later on. I’m not sure if that was intentional or not. Maybe it was a way of emphasizing the material. Regardless, the information in the book is pretty good for someone who is just coming to the language. I should mention that it’s more of an overview book though. Every topic has only 1-4 pages of information on it on average, so this book will give you enough information to get going, but you’ll still need to read the docs if you hit a wall. For example, he mentions comprehensions, but never says what they are. You don’t need those when you program, but they sure can be nice. On the other hand, he does talk about the “with” statement quite a bit.
Overall, I would say this is a pretty good introductory text on Python. The reader will get a nice overview of the language without the confusion of 3rd party packages or even very much of the included modules. They get a little introduction to Python introspection tools, which is pretty nice. When the book is finished, this is one you may want to keep in mind for your budding Pythonista. You can actually purchase the book from his website now for $4.99 and I think you get the final version when it’s done, kind of like Manning’s Early Access Program (MEAP).
Thu 9 Dec 2010
Back in 2006, Manning released the excellent wxPython in Action book by Noel Rappin and Robin Dunn (creator of wxPython). This is still a great book and I wholeheartedly recommend it to people that want to increase their understanding of wxPython. However, Packt Publishing has just released the first new wxPython book in over four years. It’s called wxPython 2.8 Application Development Cookbook by Cody Precord (creator of Editra). There’s an ebook version of each of these books at their respective publisher’s websites.
I plan to review Precord’s book once I’ve finished reading it. He’s been pretty active on the wxPython mailing list, helping people (including me) learn the ins and outs of wxPython. If you like wx as much as I do, I hope you’ll support him and the wxPython community by buying the book. Packt gives part of the purchase price of the book back to the project that it’s about, which is pretty cool. They’re also having a Python book sale on the Packt website (hat tip to Robin Dunn on that one).
Tue 2 Nov 2010
Packt Publishing gave me an ebook copy of their brand new book, MySQL for Python by Albert Lukaszewski. I’ll be working on reading through that this month and will hopefully have a review for all of you to read before December. They also gave me this link to a free chapter. Feel free to read it or skip it.