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Posted March 4, 2013
I think the world of this book; Mark Lutz has done a fantastic j
I think the world of this book; Mark Lutz has done a fantastic job writing a comprehensive guide for many of Python's most useful features. I own the hard copy of the first release of the fourth edition, and it has been a fine resource for me, the last couple of years. It's an enormous book, though, and I wanted a more portable version. I opted for the Nook version rather than the PDF version from O'Reilly, and I believe this was the wrong choice.
As a Nook product, Programming Python 4/e has a number of very frustrating flaws. First, the text of this ebook is that of the late 2010 release. The print version of the 4th edition has been updated a few times since the 2010 first printing, as indicated on the copyright pages of the respective printings, but the Nook edition I purchased in March 2013 does not include those updates. Caveat emptor.
A second and far more value-diminishing flaw is that there is no Table of Contents within the text, for navigating straight to the topic you're interested in. This is an unbelievable omission: the book is 1,600 pages in hard copy, and 6,206 pages on my Nook device. That's a lot of ground to navigate without a map!
(Nook's "Go To" function does work, but it only pulls up links to the six main parts of the book, plus the front matter and index--not the individual chapters, let alone the detailed sub-headings listed in the printed book's wonderfully complete 17-page Table of Contents. True, following the "Go To" link to Part III will pull up a list of the chapters in that part; but again, there is no way to navigate directly to the section you are interested in.)
The typical chapter is about a hundred printed pages long, which amounts to several hundred pages on the Nook. Inevitably, unless the topic you are looking for happens to be on page one of a chapter, you'll end up spending a great deal of time skimming page after page after page, hoping to find what you are looking for, eventually. This introduces a fantastic waste of time into a busy programmer's workflow, and undermines one of the main reasons for using an ebook rather than a printed book: swiftness and convenience of access.
Third, and most depressingly, the text formatting on the Nook completely messes up the whitespace in the code samples. If you're a Python programmer, that fact alone is reason enough to pass on this Nook edition.
I would love to give five stars to Lutz's excellent book. But the parties responsible for converting his fine text have rendered it a virtually unusable, one-star Nook product.
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Posted July 13, 2011
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