File APIs for Java Developers
Manipulate DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF and many others from your application.
The moose likes Book Reviews and the fly likes Dive Into Python by Mark Pilgrim Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Books » Book Reviews
Bookmark "Dive Into Python by Mark Pilgrim" Watch "Dive Into Python by Mark Pilgrim" New topic

Dive Into Python by Mark Pilgrim

Book Review Team

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 953
<pre>Author/s : Mark Pilgrim
Publisher : Apress
Category : Other
Review by : Lasse Koskela
Rating : 9 horseshoes
This was my first foray into Python. That is, beyond what I had picked up from random articles on the Web over the years. As a complete newbie to the language, I most certainly valued the approach employed and I constantly had those little thoughts like "this is the way a programming language should be taught".

Now what is this approach I'm praising here? In short, it's the good ol' get-your-hands-dirty-quick method of diving head first into actual, meaningful code to figure out what it does, why it works, and thereby figuring out new language features a couple at a time. For example, on page 11 you don't get a list of reserved words in Python or a brief history of how one programming language lead to another, but instead you get a code listing for a little program that takes a dictionary and constructs an ODBC connection string out of it. Simple? Yes, but much more interesting than seeing the syntax for a for-loop. Throughout the book, Pilgrim shows you how to use Python in parsing strings, processing XML, evaluating regular expressions, calling web services, and what not.

"Dive Into Python" is not a reference you can turn to with any Python question imaginable. Instead, it's a very effective tutorial and overview of what (and how) you can do with Python.

More info at
More info at
[ September 09, 2004: Message edited by: Book Review Team ]
Lasse Koskela

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
By the way, there's a free online version of the book at in case you want to take a quick peek.

Author of Test Driven (2007) and Effective Unit Testing (2013) [Blog] [HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch]
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Dive Into Python by Mark Pilgrim
It's not a secret anymore!