Python in a Nutshell

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Overview

This book offers Python programmers one place to look when they needhelp remembering or deciphering the syntax of this open source languageand its many powerful but scantily documented modules. Thiscomprehensive reference guide makes it easy to look up the mostfrequently needed information—not just about the Python languageitself, but also the most frequently used parts of the standard libraryand the most important third-party extensions.

Ask any Python aficionado and you'll ...

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Overview

This book offers Python programmers one place to look when they needhelp remembering or deciphering the syntax of this open source languageand its many powerful but scantily documented modules. Thiscomprehensive reference guide makes it easy to look up the mostfrequently needed information—not just about the Python languageitself, but also the most frequently used parts of the standard libraryand the most important third-party extensions.

Ask any Python aficionado and you'll hear that Python programmers haveit all: an elegant object-oriented language with readable andmaintainable syntax, that allows for easy integration with componentsin C, C++, Java, or C#, and an enormous collection of precoded standardlibrary and third-party extension modules. Moreover, Python is easy tolearn, yet powerful enough to take on the most ambitious programmingchallenges. But what Python programmers used to lack is a concise andclear reference resource, with the appropriate measure of guidance inhow best to use Python's great power. Python in aNutshell fills this need.

Python in a Nutshell, Second Edition covers morethan the language itself; it also deals with the mostfrequently used parts of the standard library, and the most popular andimportant third party extensions. Revised and expanded forPython 2.5, this book now contains the gory details of Python's newsubprocess module and breaking news about Microsoft's newIronPython project. Our "Nutshell" format fits Python perfectly bypresenting the highlights of the most important modules and functionsin its standard library, which cover over 90% of your practicalprogramming needs. This book includes:

  • A fast-paced tutorial on the syntax of the Python language
  • An explanation of object-oriented programming in Python
  • Coverage of iterators, generators, exceptions, modules,packages, strings, and regular expressions
  • A quick reference for Python's built-in types and functionsand key modules
  • Reference material on important third-party extensions,such as Numeric and Tkinter
  • Information about extending and embedding Python

Python in a Nutshell provides a solid,no-nonsense quick reference to information that programmers rely on themost. This book will immediately earn its place in any Pythonprogrammer's library.

Praise for the First Edition:

"In a nutshell, Python in a Nutshell serves oneprimary goal: to act as an immediately accessible goal for the Pythonlanguage. True, you can get most of the same core information that ispresented within the covers of this volume online, but this willinvariably be broken into multiple files, and in all likelihood lackingthe examples or the exact syntax description necessary to trulyunderstand a command."
—Richard Cobbett, Linux Format

"O'Reilly has several good books, of which Python in aNutshell by Alex Martelli is probably the best for giving yousome idea of what Python is about and how to do useful things with it."
—Jerry Pournelle, Byte Magazine

Revised and expanded for Python 2.5, this book now contains the details of Python's new subprocess module and the latest from Microsofts' IronPython project. This easy scripting language comes with a huge library that is enormously rich with highlights of all modules and functions which cover well over 90 percent of users' practical programming needs.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Slashdot.org
Perhaps the best book about Python ever written, this is the perfect capstone to anyone's library of Pythonic books, and also the perfect introduction to Python for anyone well versed in other programming languages.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596100469
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/28/2006
  • Series: In a Nutshell (O'Reilly) Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 738
  • Sales rank: 359,799
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex Martelli spent 8 years with IBM Research, winning three Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards. He then spent 13 as a Senior Software Consultant at think3 inc, developing libraries, network protocols, GUI engines, event frameworks, and web access frontends. He has also taught programming languages, development methods, and numerical computing at Ferrara University and other venues. He's a C++ MVP for Brainbench, and a member of the Python Software Foundation. He currently works for AB Strakt, a Python-centered software house in G teborg, Sweden, mostly by telecommuting from his home in Bologna, Italy. Alex's proudest achievement is the articles that appeared in Bridge World (January/February 2000), which were hailed as giant steps towards solving issues that had haunted contract bridge theoreticians for decades.

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Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Getting Started with Python
    • Chapter 1: Introduction to Python
    • Chapter 2: Installation
    • Chapter 3: The Python Interpreter


  • Core Python Language and Built-ins
    • Chapter 4: The Python Language
    • Chapter 5: Object-Oriented Python
    • Chapter 6: Exceptions
    • Chapter 7: Modules
    • Chapter 8: Core Built-ins
    • Chapter 9: Strings and Regular Expressions


  • Python Library and Extension Modules
    • Chapter 10: File and Text Operations
    • Chapter 11: Persistence and Databases
    • Chapter 12: Time Operations
    • Chapter 13: Controlling Execution
    • Chapter 14: Threads and Processes
    • Chapter 15: Numeric Processing
    • Chapter 16: Array Processing
    • Chapter 17: Tkinter GUIs
    • Chapter 18: Testing, Debugging, and Optimizing


  • Network and Web Programming
    • Chapter 19: Client-Side Network Protocol Modules
    • Chapter 20: Sockets and Server-Side Network Protocol Modules
    • Chapter 21: CGI Scripting and Alternatives
    • Chapter 22: MIME and Network Encodings
    • Chapter 23: Structured Text: HTML
    • Chapter 24: Structured Text: XML


  • Extending and Embedding
    • Chapter 25: Extending and Embedding Classic Python
    • Chapter 26: Extending and Embedding Jython
    • Chapter 27: Distributing Extensions and Programs


  • About the Author
  • Colophon

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    Great for Teaching and for Reference

    This book is great to have nearby when doing any serious (or even non-serious) Python work. Beginners can use the book to help them get started quickly while more experienced users can quickly use it to refresh their memory. As a Python instructor, I strongly recommend this book to students and anyone wanting to learn the language (sadly, we can't hand it out as a course textbook these days). As a Python programmer, I recommend that one keep it handy as reference, and nearby whenever doing any Python work.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 22, 2011

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    Posted December 1, 2008

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    Posted January 19, 2009

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