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Dive Into Python by Mark Pilgrim

Book Review Team

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 959
<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:
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