Python Essential Reference, 4th Edition
Product Author Bios
David M. Beazley has been programming Python since 1996. While working at Los Alamos National Laboratory, he helped pioneer the use of Python with scientific computing software. Through his company, Dabeaz LLC, he provides software development, training, and consulting related to the practical use of dynamic programming languages such as Python, Ruby, and Perl, especially in systems programming. He is author of all previous editions of Python Essential Reference, and was contributing author of Steve Holden’s Python Web Programming. He is a member of the Python Software Foundation.
Python Essential Reference is the definitive reference guide to the Python programming language — the one authoritative handbook that reliably untangles and explains both the core Python language and the most essential parts of the Python library.
Designed for the professional programmer, the book is concise, to the point, and highly accessible. It also includes detailed information on the Python library and many advanced subjects that is not available in either the official Python documentation or any other single reference source.
Thoroughly updated to reflect the significant new programming language features and library modules that have been introduced in Python 2.6 and Python 3, the fourth edition of Python Essential Reference is the definitive guide for programmers who need to modernize existing Python code or who are planning an eventual migration to Python 3. Programmers starting a new Python project will find detailed coverage of contemporary Python programming idioms.
This fourth edition of Python Essential Reference features numerous improvements, additions, and updates:
- Coverage of new language features, libraries, and modules
- Practical coverage of Python's more advanced features including generators, coroutines, closures, metaclasses, and decorators
- Expanded coverage of library modules related to concurrent programming including threads, subprocesses, and the new multiprocessing module
- Up-to-the-minute coverage of how to use Python 2.6’s forward compatibility mode to evaluate code for Python 3 compatibility
- Improved organization for even faster answers and better usability
- Updates to reflect modern Python programming style and idioms
- Updated and improved example code
- Deep coverage of low-level system and networking library modules — including options not covered in the standard documentation
70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
An excellent reference to get the maximum out of Python,
This review is from: Python Essential Reference (4th Edition) (Paperback)The author of Python Essential Reference is David Beazley, who among other occupations created the open-source SWIG tool and the WAD mixed-languages debugger. His background is pervading throughout the book, in which the reader gets a clear sense of what is happening behind the Python programming language and learns how to use it efficiently instead of considering it as a black box.
The first 20 pages give an overview of the language and although it is called a "tutorial introduction", it should be understood that its purpose is for a programmer to see what Python looks like, and not for a novice to get their first programming course.
The next 156 pages offer a thorough review of the language and its environment. This is a very interesting part and should not be skipped even by people who already know Python. I said "review" but an experienced programmer should be able to learn the language by reading those chapters and putting them into practice with extra... Read more
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Probably the best "second book" on Python,
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This review is from: Python Essential Reference (4th Edition) (Paperback)David Beazley's "Python Essential Reference, Fourth Edition" covers Python 2.6 and 3.0, and is thus quite (though not completely) up to date. The author has in essence chosen to present the intersection of the two branches, i.e. omit features of Python 2 that have been removed from Python 3. This volume's pace is rapid and the coverage is quite extensive, so this probably shouldn't be the first Python book one reads.
The Good: this book is approximately 700 pages long; even so, it's not that bulky and is therefore quite manageable. It is split into two parts: 200 pages on the language and roughly 400 pages on the library. The first part is very good, while the second part is unrivaled as of this writing (though this may change when Doug Hellmann's "The Python Standard Library by Example" comes out). Thus, the reader essentially gets two books for the price of one: the part on the language can be read linearly, while the library part can be read in chunks as the need arises... Read more
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
The Best Reference for the Experienced Programmer,
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This review is from: Python Essential Reference (4th Edition) (Paperback)I've worked in C, C++, and Java, and for the last six years in Python. This is the book I've been looking for. If you want to know how the language works under the covers and how to best use it, this book is invaluable. The explanation of co-routines and generators is the best I've seen.
The presentation is logical and concise, and the examples are realistic. I've read many Python books, but this is the one that will stay on my desk.
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Table of Contents
Part I: The Python Language
1 A Tutorial Introduction
2 Lexical Conventions and Syntax
3 Types and Objects
4 Operators and Expressions
5 Program Structure and Control Flow
6 Functions and Functional Programming
7 Classes and Object-Oriented Programming
8 Modules, Packages, and Distribution
9 Input and Output
10 Execution Environment
11 Testing, Debugging, Profiling, and Tuning
Part II: The Python Library
12 Built-In Functions
13 Python Runtime Services
15 Data Structures, Algorithms, and Utilities
16 String and Text Handling
17 Python Database API
18 File Handling
19 Operating System Services
20 Threads and Concurrency
21 Network Programming and Sockets
22 Internet Application Programming
23 Web Programming
24 Internet Data Handling and Encoding
25 Miscellaneous Library Modules
Part III: Extending and Embedding
26 Extending and Embedding Python
A Python 3
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