[Core Python Programming]

Welcome to the Reviews page for Core Python Programming. Kudos to you for doing your homework before spending any money when trying to select the right Python book for you. Here, you will find all kinds of feedback about the book, good and bad to keep it unbiased, with an intention to improve all future editions. (However for some reason, you'll notice that the 1-star reviews are generally devoid of any constructive criticism and give the appearance that the reader either has not read the book yet or seems to be talking about another book.) After reading the remainder of the reviews, we hope you'll decide that we have the right book for you!


  • Eric Wilson blogpost (2011 Sep 26)

  • Association for Computing Machinery (2007 Sep 19) (requires subscription)

  • Linux (Pro) Magazine (Issue 74) PDF (2007 Jan) (note: image is 1st Edition cover)

  • Linux User Magazine (Issue 68) (2006 Dec)

  • Barnes & Noble (2006 Dec)

  • Free Software Magazine (2006 Nov 30)

  • Python411 MP3 audio podcast [30:01] (2006 Nov 12)

  • Slashdot (2006 Nov 6) and All about Linux blog entry (2007 Jan 3)

  • IBM DeveloperWorks (2002 May)

  • Linux Journal (2001 May)

  • Association of C & C++ Users (2001 Apr)


    Very well written. It is the clearest, friendliest book I have come across yet for explaining Python, and putting it in a wider context. It does not presume a large amount of other experience. It may be too slow for more advanced people, but it does go into some important Python topics carefully and in depth. Unlike too many beginner books, it never condescends or tortures the reader with childish hide-and-seek prose games. Not too many in-depth realworld examples in the book [hopefully he will do a followup volume], it sticks to gaining a solid grasp of Python syntax and structure.


    ***** Rookie or pro, this is the complete book on Python., September 5, 2011
    Reviewer: Richard "Rick" J. Frieh (Chicago, IL, USA)

    Rookie or pro, this is the complete book on Python. Author does a great job teaching without getting overly technical or verbose.

    ***** A clear, organized, detailed, exposition - not a quick dive, July 12, 2011
    Reviewer: E. Wilson (Circleville, OH)

    If you are trying to decide whether to get Core Python or Dive into Python, you will find the answer in the way you like to learn.

    Dive into Python if for the impatient programmer, that wants to get started as quickly as possible, knowing that you can always go back to the docs when you get stuck. I tried reading Dive into Python, and I found it unpleasant, because I don't like to learn that way, leaving me with too many questions unanswered.

    Core Python is for those of us that like to know the rules before we start playing the game. Mr Chun does an excellent job of communicating the details that you would find in a language specification, but in comfortable language that makes it easy to understand and remember the concepts.

    The comparisons to Bruce Eckel (Thinking in Java) are appropriate, Chun and Eckel are similar in style, though Chun seems to me more clear, and less verbose.

    The table of contents is well thought out, and when concepts in one chapter are closely related to another chapter Chun helpfully references where you would look to read more on the related topic. The code snippets are appropriately brief, containing the necessary detail for the concept at hand.

    This is an excellent book, as Mr. Chun does well what he sets out to do. If you are interested in a detailed exposition that will continue to serve as a great reference, I recommend Core Python.

    * Not a good book to learn Programming in Python, June 13, 2011
    Reviewer: Chetan Aurangabadkar "AnswerGuy"

    Reading first few chapters I felt I am reading some kind of Text book on Python. May be a good reference book (only academics) can use. But not for people looking start coding/programming in Python.

    ***** Fantastic Resource, May 19, 2011
    Reviewer: Jesse Boyer (Deltona, Florida USA)

    This book is so full of everything it blows my mind. It has to be about 4 inches thick, it is massive! The code examples are awesome. Some examples appear out of the blue (Like the intro takes you through a lot of examples without explaining a lot), then the chapters following let you know all the introduction parts that were shown. This book is a meat factory of information, you could read a chapter, and come back in a week and realize there are more layers to learn. If you want a book not only to learn with, but it use as a constant reference - THIS IS IT!

    ***** Comprehensive book for learning Python, January 5, 2011
    Reviewer: S. Gregory

    Got this book as a requirement for an introduction to python programming course and I absolutely love it. I always used it over O'Reily's Python in a Nutshell for more detailed information on areas of interest. It's a big book but covers just about anything you want to know about python programming, buy this book!

    ***** If you want to code python, this is the book, December 14, 2010
    Reviewer: Seth Barkan "torgo25"

    As an intermediate programmer(mainly familiar with adapting scripting languages like bash and perl to perform basic - and much more complex - tasks on my computer ranging from sys admin stuff to creating my own database systems - foolishly), finding Core Python was a revelation for me, and is absolutely THE book I'd recommend to anyone who wants to learn the language. I've read 1000's of pages of Python texts, and paid hundreds of dollars, and wasted months and months doing so. Core Python would have saved me these grotesque expenditures, and only bothered writing this in the hopes of sparing other intermediate and beginning programmers from my fate. Here's the deal:

    My background: 20 years in computing, 7 in linux, *no* background in object-oriented programming, know *very* *basic* Java, once wrote a small program in C++ by following instructions in high school (to whit: NONE), bunch of web-design, and have comprehensive and extensive understanding (both practical and theoretical) of MIDI/music technology in general, with which I have been working for the past 14ish years (including writing my own parsing programs and building front-ends for numerous practical applications), almost a year of building my own database programs from scratch (to read: bash... from nothing). So, I'm totally no one I'd brag about (not a code jedi or anything), but I do know how to program, and know how to learn a new language... and, if you're at all like me, then you will love Core Python. But, I'm getting sidetracked. I think it's always important to know WHY someone wanted to learn a language before reading their review of a survey course in the language so...

    Why I wanted to learn python: I had gotten back into programming (and had returned to Linux after a long hiatus) after discovering how far ye olde OS had come in regards to music/audio programming. I was now able to leverage the scripting power of Bash to accomplish things that, years before, would have been unheard of. This made the scripting world of old new again, and I was addicted to programming all over again. Then, I wanted to port some of my more complicated database programs to other systems and really learn a full-fledged oop language at the same time. I had heard great things about Python, so that's where I went. I decided to learn Python...

    The horrible world of useless and expensive python books: And I ran into a brick wall of horrible books that were as expensive as they were useless. I was no stranger to new languages, and yet I COULD NOT FIND A BOOK that could walk me through Python in any logical, reliable, or efficacious way. I've read all four of the major texts on the subject, and have found them all to be terrible at actually teaching the language (and each has generally failed me in it's own specific way... with the exception of the Lutz O'Reilly "Learning Python Book," which is such a quagmire that's it's difficult to decide if it's simply an incomprehensibly ludicrous exercise in absurdism or the worst attempt at creating a survey of any language I have ever read). These books were so disappointing... I was focused, ready, had a lot of previous programming experience, the willingness for rigorous study, and the understanding of the process of learning a new language, yet I could not find a book that was at all adequate. UNtil I read about Core Python on some obscure university thread... the thread had been replied to by Mr Chun, and his explanation of the problem was so elegant, and with a demeanor so (unfortunately) lacking in most current python circles, that I had to give python one more try... If only I had started with Core Python, I wouldn';t have wasted hundreds of dollars (and, worse, FAR TOO MANY HOURS) with books written to ride the Python craze. CORE PYTHON is the only book I've found that approaches the language in a comprehensive fashion, with limited wind, outlining the essential functions for programming, organized in such a way that it can get anyone with experience in a different language up and running *VERY* fast (a kind of choose-your-own-adventure structure to programming that isn't bewildering or obtrusive). Likewise, it doubles as an excellent reference. The best part, though, is that it provides excellent sample code, and operates with the underlying assumption that you expect to learn by coding yourself (hence the excellent excercises at the end of each chapter; something that very few of the major python books I've read have bothered with at all, and, of the few which have, haven't been done well).

    In short, this is one of the best books to introduce you to (as the title says) Core Python. If you want to learn to code in Python, regardless of previous (or lack of previous) progamming experience, there is no other text that truly teaches through an incremental process and then expects you to code at the conclusion of the sections. I could rrant and rave about how great I think it is, but let me simply say that, when the edition covering 3.1 comes out, I can't wait to buy and devour it (and keep it as my new standard reference for the syntax of the new version of the language).

    The only other book that comes close to Core Python is "Beginning Python" but that doesn't take quite the serious and comprehensive and details oriented approach as CP.

    5 stars.

    * This book takes you nowhere..., March 4, 2010
    Reviewer: Haydar Emre "Douglas Hatteras"
    As a UNIX/linux shell programmer for 20 years, this book took me nowhere... I'm not sure what the author had in mind, but it wasn't for python programming. That's for sure... The scam of writing "really bad books" has to stop. Next time I will not waste my money but check it out from my local library. I just made a calculation, and only 20% of programming books I have purchased are good. The remaining 80% (like this one) are plainly junk.

    **** Excellent reference for Python, November 14, 2009
    Reviewer: Steven Morley (Hampshire, UK)
    Summary: Core Python Programming lives next to my keyboard.

    Having been programming, in a scientific role, for a decade, I recently took up Python. This book was the text used with a short course on Python I took, and I can see why. As other reviewers have said, Python has excellent documentation; what the Python documentation usually lacks is both practical examples and an explanation of why. This book gives both of those things and in a very readable way. It's been the fastest and simplest way for me to get to grips with object-oriented concepts, and has been a great reference for most things I've needed to do.

    Drawbacks: If you've never programmed before, this probably isn't for you - perhaps try Beginning Python: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition, which covers programming fundamentals while teaching you Python. For those with a little more background, I really like Dive Into Python 3 (free under a GNU license, so Google it). For experienced Python programmers, this perhaps doesn't have sufficient depth as it's not specialized in any one area. If you want to learn Python for basic data analysis and visualization (without a need/desire to do more), then go for Beginning Python Visualization: Crafting Visual Transformation Scripts (Books for Professionals by Professionals).

    This really is a good CORE Python book. It's not really a beginner's guide, or a specialist text on any given niche topic. It's a great reference and that's it.

    * Avoid this textbook pretender--ANNOYED, July 7, 2009
    Reviewer: TOC (New York, NY United States)
    I purchased this book from a bricks and morter bookstore and after spending a frustrating week with it realized the the annoying habit of the author presenting a snippet of code and then coping-out when it came to adding anything that would make it possible to invoke the snippet (read, to make it ACTUALLY useful). He would announce that HE LEFT THAT EXERCISE FOR THE READER. Really? Either he has delusions of someone using this book as textbook (not a chance) or he is just too lazy. I RETURNED THE BOOK, and by the way, I NEVER WRITE REVIEWS. That's how annoyed I was with this book.

    ***** Excellent, May 13, 2009
    Reviewer: N. Childs
    This is by far the best of the five Python books I have, and one of the best general programming books I've read. The book covers every aspect of Python, from basic syntax to regular expressions, object-oriented programming, database manipulation, GUI development, and Jython. The numerous examples are compact and emphasize the topic being presented. And Wesley Chun explains the philosophy behind Python and how to make programs more "Pythonesque."

    *** So-so, December 5, 2008
    Reviewer: mtlimber (Orlando, FL)
    This was recommended in a review on Slashdot, but I'm a little disappointed. Sometimes Chun just gives code with no explanation, and other times he glosses over examples of how to use things in favor of prose. I've also found some typos, perhaps the most amusing of which is his repeatedly calling Python creator Guido van Rossum "van Rossum Guido" in one part of the book.

    I haven't read any other Python books, but even if this one really is a best-of-breed, IMHO it is just so-so.

    Hence, I decided after about 400 pages to read other things instead. I got what I wanted out of it and have it for reference in the future. Besides, my retention of programming languages apart from practice is low, and at the mo, I don't have need or opportunity to exercise more language features than I've used up to now.

    * disappointed: bad production, June 12, 2008
    Reviewer: gmale (Los Alamos, NM USA)
    I got this book because of its many positive reviews, but I'm not happy with it.

    I'm a professional programmer. C++ is my main language, but I know C, Java, Perl, Smalltalk. I have used Python a fair amount in the past; I wanted to go through a Python book because I'm starting a new project in Python and the language has changed since I last used it.

    My main criticism of this book (2nd edition, 3rd printing) is its sloppy production. It is loaded with typos, broken code, and other errors. I'm surprised that most other reviewers didn't comment on this fact. The author knows about many of these errors and has corrections posted on the web, where he airily excuses the book's errors as being "due to lack of time or priority during the highly-compressed editing phase." If he or the publisher really cared, many of these errors would have been corrected by the third printing. (Many would not require resetting even a full line of type.)

    As other reviewers have said, Chun's writing is rather disorganized and conversational. That's not to my taste, but evidently it suits lots of people. For the length of the book, the depth is not great.

    Some reviewers say that this is the best book they have seen for beginning programmers. Maybe they are not familiar with Kernighan and Ritchie's classic, _The C Programming Language_. That book, in my opinion, is the standard of excellence.

    Overall I prefer Beazley's _Python Essential Reference_ 3rd edition to Chun's book. The Reference is terse and maybe not suitable for a novice, but it is thorough, accurate, well organized, and carefully produced. Chun does provide exercises after each chapter; that is the book's main positive feature, in my opinion.

    ***** Easy to read and understand, great for learning Python quickly, March 26, 2008
    Reviewer: Walter Alvey (San Jose, CA USA)
    I recently changed my job. My new company uses Python as the main technology. Before starting this job, I didn't know Python at all. The project I worked on was on a tight schedule. Fortunately I got this book and I can immediately starting writing code in Python on the first day. The book is written in a very easy to read and understandable way. It covers almost everything you need to know about Python. The "Core Tip", "Core Note" and "Core Style" sections are especially useful and helpful. They are not just for the Python beginner to develop good coding skills and habits. They are also very valuable advice for the people who already know Python. If you want to learn Python quickly or if you want to expand your Python knowledge, this is a book for you.

    ***** A wealth of information for newbie and advanced Python programmers, January 27, 2008
    Reviewer: L. Cullen (Chicago, Illinois USA)
    I'm relatively new to Python, having programmed in 'C' and Pascal for many years, and have found this book to be a very good first book to read. As a programmer relatively new to Python I've found that it provides me with very good coverage of the language and its most popular modules. It is not a reference book like "Python In A Nutshell", which I would also recommend. It won't be sufficient if you plan on writing complex GUI applications using wxPython, but there's another good book available for that. Thanks to this book and a couple of others I've been able to produce several useful Python applications. If you're a programmer new to Python, I would recommend this book as one of the first you read.

    ** This will be discussed in the next chapter... Recall from section, January 14, 2008
    Reviewer: RF RDC
    This book has small snippets of insight, unfortunately they are scattered across over 1000 pages. The book seems to take a general format of: 1) "Here is an idea or concept - not sure why I introduced it now;" 2) "The concept just seems to have a logical grouping with these other concepts;" 3) "But we will not go into the concept or the other concepts now;" 5) "We will save them for another section that will then refer you back to this section as a reference for those concepts;" 6) "By the way, did you know that C, C++, Java, Java Script have this vague similarity of implementation but use this code" 7) "Don't bother that this aside has no value for understanding python (if you are literate in other languages, you will get the similarities and differences - if you are not, then why bother introducing irrelevant material)."

    In essence, the book seems to say - I have 1000+ pages to write in, therefore organization and relevancy are secondary to filling them up. Also, there tends to be numerous mistakes in the prose as well as in the code. A trip to the book's website shows that, apparently, it took the author three tries (plus a .diff file) to get the MakeTextFile script correct. There are better books out there (along with the python online documentation).

    **** Knowledge & Common Sense, December 31, 2007
    Reviewer: L.R. Young
    Fellow Programmers, I am new to Python and found this book to be a comprehensive source of information. I started off with Java a few years ago in my spare time, however; Core Python is an excellent book for an understanding concepts in OOP for both languages. I thoroughly enjoy the book and the Python Language itself. My only criticism is that most of the programs are short, but from cover to cover; the reader will walk away with a rock solid foundation in python programming.

    ***** Great introductory book to Python, December 28, 2007
    Reviewer: G. Salazar (Orlando, FL USA)
    Sure, the book is huge ( over 1000 pages ) but it is a rather easy reading (then again I already knew a few other programming languages) and it covers the kind of details about the language the I enjoy learning about...origin of things, history/evolution, why something is done the way it is (performance issues), code snippets here and then a break down of such code in plain English; at the end of a chapter a table with a summary of the statements/functions/methods covered, etc., etc. etc.

    Really a great book, I highly recommend it.

    ***** Great Writing Style, good for Python Beginners, October 21, 2007
    Reviewer: Timothy T. Wee "stark" (Chicago, IL USA)
    This book is very well-written and readable. It covers a comprehensive list of Python topics, including the newer Python features like decorators, generators, and some of the resource acquisition stuff. (the with statement)

    Don't be afraid of the 1000+ pages, the pages fly by because the writing is not dense. It also talks about "Pythonic" ways of doing things, and which functions you should call and which you shouldn't use. (because of being depracated, or being less efficient)

    My favorite chapter is the one on functions, it talks a little bit about how to do functional programming with Python and the tools that are available for it.

    Overall, definitely worth the money, and I think it's one of the best intros to a programming language book that I have come across, and shows all the cool and unique constructs and things that you can do in Python without overwhelming newcomers to the language.

    *** Not for experienced programmers, September 9, 2007
    Reviewer: IBMT
    This may be a good book for beginners. For experienced programmers who just want to know what's new and unique of Python, it's hard to find what you need fast. I found Dive into Python is better for me.

    **** Good Python Resource, September 4, 2007
    Reviewer: Billy 6 Moons (New York, NY USA)
    I read the first half of the book along with Python's online documentation and I was able to connect to a database, read & write files, display a web page and a few other things. I don't think I'll start using Python in lieu of Perl but, that's another discussion. It's easy to read; has a good typeface & layout. It's a good intro to Python and may make a reasonable reference.

    ***** Great book, May 18, 2007
    Reviewer: C. Unsal (Mountain View, CA USA)
    Looks like it's long and hard to read, but the material is actually very easy to read/follow. Good topic coverage in 2nd edition. One of the best python books... Make sure you complete at least some of the exercises at the end of each chapter. If you are looking for complex examples, try 'cookbooks' or similar. If you need hand holding while reading the book or learning python, take Wesley's course [...]

    ***** Great Place to Start, May 14, 2007
    Reviewer: R. Chae
    Good Book filled with excellent examples. Much better and an easier read than the O'Reilly Python books.

    **** Excellent overall book, January 9, 2007
    Reviewer: Raghavan Srinivasan
    This was my first Python book and I was learning Python for the first time after spending years in Java. I must say this was a great book for someone trying to correlate concepts with another programming language. It bring out the powerful concepts on Python very well especially the string/list functionality. I also liked its treatment of Object Oriented Functionality as well as the description of Python's functional features. The language is lucid and the author gets straight down to an example without beating around the bush. I am giving it 4 stars only because I didn't find its treatment of Regular Expressions as extensive as I hoped and I had to refer to other books/online to get more examples.

    *** Decent but you can do better, July 28, 2005
    Reviewer: Mark Mascolino (Cincinnati, OH, USA)
    The text covers a wide range of topics but doesn't dive very deep. The font in the book is pretty large and there is copious amounts of whitespace that is wasted. It would be a decent read through for a beginner-to-immediate person but you will need to do much more to round out your Python knowledge.

    ***** Easy read to get you up and running, January 10, 2005
    Reviewer: Patrick Lacson (Santa Clara, CA, USA)
    I've been a big fan of the Core programming books, including the Core Java volumen 1/2 series. This book I found while skimming my local library and decided to give this little language a try. I understand that this is an "outdated" book that covers Python 2.0, the latest being 2.4.x as of this writing. However, the material covered in this book is still very valuable.

    The author does a good job of introducing the language and arguing why Python should grab your interest as an easy to read, easy to maintain, easy to learn language. Several chapters into the book, without writing a single line of code, I could already understand exactly what the code is doing. Python, as taught in this book, sells itself as a very understandable language.

    Furthermore, the book provides excercises in the end of each chapter that helps you think in Python when trying to solve the problems. If you've really studied the chapters, the solution to these questions will seem very obvious. As the Python adage goes, "there's only one obvious way of doing it."

    The overall format of this book should be a model for how new languages are treated. Get this book if you want to add Python to your programming tool chest. If you're already familiar with one programming language you'll be writing productive scripts in a matter of hours. If this is your first language, in the order of days!

    ***** Good book for beginning Python programmers, March 23, 2004
    Reviewer: Brian Maula "djspin80" (Chicago, IL, USA)
    Definitely worth 5 stars. The book clearly explains its purpose, and the author makes his methodologies known in the beginning as to how he will approach teaching the language. His explanations are clear and concise, and it does not contradict the DOCS available on the Python web site. He's both humorous and informative, with a relaxed style of writing.

    The code in itself is neatly organized, clearly explained, and overall, it works. He does cover a lot of Python basics, the majority of the book are Python basics. He also covers advanced topics such as network programming, extending Python through C/C++ modules, and multithreading. All of which are important, being able to write distributed applications, writing responsive programs, and being able to extend the language are all equally important. Python's power is clearly explained and logically thought-out in this book. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn Python but are new to programming.

    As a side note, I would also take extra time and check out the DOCS themselves. The author is good, but by no means perfect, supplement the book with the DOCS, it'll help you out a lot more. I have plans on writing more complicated web services using Python, and this book will remain beside me as both a reference and a guide when I'm lost.

    ***** clear explanations of basic concepts make it a winner, November 25, 2003
    Reviewer: Stephen Ferg (Arlington, VA, USA)
    I have been programming in Python for a couple of years. "Core" has been on my bookshelf, but I didn't consult it much until I wanted to learn CGI ("Web") programming, and thought I would see what I could find in it.

    It was a revelation! The explanations of basic concepts are very clear, yet short and to the point, and cover all of the basic information. As one example, the explanation of client-server architecture in the chapter on network programming really gives you the basic concepts. I am extremely impressed.

    So I think this book would be a very good choice for someone in the beginner to intermediate range. In my case, I'm in the intermediate category for some topics, but for some topics I am a complete beginner. So this book was just what I needed.

    The explanations are so clear and well-written that it is easy to give "Core" 5 stars. I suggest that you ignore the reviews that complain about the big type. The big type makes the book a pleasure to read: as one reviewer said, you can just sit down and read this book, even if you're not in front of your computer. The only disadvantage to the big type is that it might give a prospective buyer the impression that this book is not as solid as it really is.

    *** could be reduced in size with normal type, July 18, 2003
    Reviewer: Sameer "Sam" (San Antonio, TX, USA)
    Decent text, but watch out, you might think you are getting a lot of information after looking at the size of the book, as it's 1000+ pages. Do keep in mind that this book could be condensed to half it's size or less if the type was reduced to a normal level.

    Overall, this book can be read by a wide range of audiences, from the beginner, to well...somewhat of an expert, as it covers some of the "advanced" topics like gui programming and threading. Most likely, this book will be most appealing to a intermediate level Pythonite. There are juicier picks out there in the same price range, like Python Essential Reference, but if you want to exhaustively complete your python library, this book is not a bad buy.

    ***** I learned to program with this book, July 16, 2003
    Reviewer: Stephen Aichele (Ojai, CA, USA)
    A few years ago, I had the privelege to take a Python class (my first programming class) with Wesley Chun. This book had not yet gone to print, but we were using photocopied chapters as our text for the class. At the time, I poured myself into learning the language, and now I am extremely grateful that I chose Python as the first language to learn and had this book to learn from!

    The exercises can be quite challenging, and the text needs editing in places, but overall it's very clear and consistent throughout. (If you already are a programmer, you shouldn't have much difficulty getting a handle on what's going on from the examples). This book also makes a fantastic reference - there are times when I have referred to it more often than the Python reference itself.

    The Python language induces good programming habits, and this book really brings this quality to light. A great first language to learn, and a great book to learn with.

    Note: I'd also love to see a Part II dealing with more advanced material (particularly async network programming, AI, and even more web programming).

    ***** A great book..., January 17, 2003
    Reviewer: kyle12345678 (Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA)
    One of the best python books I've read-- topped only by Python Bible 2.1. Core Python Programming is a great resource dealing with the main language and many modules.

    ***** King of the Lot, December 27, 2002
    Reviewer: tmg ( Charlotte, NC, USA)
    A simple test. If you own a slew of reference books on Python (as I do), consider which one you reach for most often while programming? My answer is this book by Wesley Chun. The authors conversational style and the books clear and consistent layout make this a pleasure as a reference. Here's to hoping Wesley Chun publishes a Volume 2 dealing with advanced topics (especially given the new language features added since publication). This is one of the few books dealing with ANY programming language that can justify a [$$] price tag. If you are not using this as a text book you are cheating your students. And cheating is not cool.

    ***** Good book for every one. - From beginer to advanced level, February 4, 2002
    Reviewer: Nirmal (Bangalore, India)
        I started book reading Acknowledgements,Where i found name of Guido Van Rossum, creator of Python in Technical Review Panel of this book. That itself establishes the credibility.
        I recommend Python as the first object oriented program to learn, for that this book is defintely worth. Author explains everything in a very simple manner, including how the language modules itself are constructed.
        Explaining data structured related to language is basic requirement for any programming book - This book does exceptionaly well in this. I personally liked the part - Extending Python.Also this book covers JPython - Java avatar of Python.

    ***** Highly recommended for beginners, January 13, 2002
    Reviewer: Paul T. Ammann (New Fairfield, CT, USA)
    For the last few months I was developing in Perl. But I found myself very frustrated with the syntax, and the Perl books on the market did a so-so job on explaining how everything worked.
        And then I came across this book. I had read a review about in the Linux Journal. In 2 days I "inhaled" 200+ pages of this book, about 7 chapters. To begin with, this book is easy to understand, has numerous examples to go long with the text, and does an excellent job in progessing through Python.
        The first 400 pages cover syntax, style, functions, classes, modules, etc. If you've ever programmed in another language (C, C++, Java, Perl), Mr. Chun compares Python to each of them in simularities and differences. You should be pick up on these quite easily. The last part of the book in more advanced topics, which I found quite enjoyable.
        I don't program in Perl anymore. After reading this book, I wonder why I didn't look at Python first. Aside from a book on Tkinter, this is the only book that I keep on my desk. It's great for teaching and learning, but makes a great reference book also.

    COMMENT: Alister Lee "timetaxi" (Ulmarra NSW Australia)
    I bought the book based on this review. It lives up to expectations.
    **** Too much for beginners -- not enough for advanced, December 17, 2001
    Reviewer: Troy W Cooper "Marlow" (Coquille, OR, USA)
    The author goes into goes into a lot of detail regarding strings, numbers, lists and and like. In fact, it's so much detail that most beginners might feel overwhelmed. But it's reasonable for a person with some experience. The only problem is that the advanced topics are given less detail than I would have liked. Networking, regular expressions, and the like do not get as much attention as I would have liked.

    ***** good all around python book - great to learn from, December 14, 2001
    Reviewer: Corey Goldberg (Boston, MA, USA)
    This book is an excellent read for someone new to python but with some other programming knowledge. This was my first exposure to Python (coming from PERL) and I found this book very helpful. The author explains things very thoroughly and intuitively. He writes a lot of prose and not just all code examples, but good explanations also. I found myself reading this most times without a computer in front of me. So by the time I actually sat down and dug into the syntax, I was already very familiar with the basic concepts of the language. It touches on most subjects I was looking for. It may not be for the extreme beginner or as the end-all reference for gurus, but for us in between its just whats needed. this is easily one of the better programming books I've read.

    *** Try another book, November 20, 2001
    Reviewer: MR D J Crawford (Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, UK)
    The main fault of this book is that it is very verbose. The author constantly repeats himself. Whoever edited it did a very poor job. The book should either be shorter/cheaper or have more useful content. Its not a bad book but there must be something better out there. Essential Python and Python Developers Handbook look worth trying.

    ***** An excellent introduction to Python, October 3, 2001
    Reviewer: C. Young "tanabata" (West Jordan, UT, USA)
    This book is an excellent introduction to the Python scripting language. It may be a little slow for you if you are already familiar with other programming or scripting languages, but I think you will still learn some important things.
        One comment on the 1 star review. Programming does involve math. In order to do really exciting things, math is a must. Giving a book one star because the author uses too many math examples is like rating a movie poorly because the director put too much acting in it.

    * He is a Mathematician, August 1, 2001
    Reviewer: David Elliott Sewell "dsewell@spinner.com" (San Francisco, CA, USA)
    I am interested in python mostly for it's similiarity to perl and the language's usefulness in systems administration. This book has a lot of math in it. It is just ok.

    **** a little too basic for an experienced programmer, May 16, 2001
    Reviewer: karthik (India)
    If you have been coding in another programming language and if it's OO as well, then you can pick up the python syntax from the tutorial that comes along with the release or tons of web sites can teach you the same. It's pretty straight forward. I have to say here that this book is very weak on the advanced concepts. There are'nt many interesting examples in "advanced topics". I c'd finish it off in a week's time. I think this book is a little too expensive for it's content. If they c'd slash the price then this book is recommended for it covers the basics pretty well.

    ***** best intro to python, March 4, 2001
    Reviewer: A reader (Unterweikertshofen, Germany)
    If you do not know python or have only immediate knowledge then get this book. it explains all the python concepts in a clear and easy to follow way. I think it is much better than "Learning Python" from Oreilly or the ugly "Python in 24 hours". If you want to learn python, you should consider buying this book. Besides Addison-Wesleys Book "Programming Ruby - A pragmatic programmers guide", this is one of the best introductions to a language I have come across.

    **** I agree with the reader from Menlo Park, CA, February 4, 2001
    Reviewer: A reader (Sunny So-Cal... beats living in cold Menlo Park)
    The author's writing style is very similar to Bruce Eckel's. Both authors present somewhat abstract concepts in a clear and concise way that makes reading their material enjoyable. I highly recommend this book for any novice programmer wanting to learn Python. Chun does a good job explaining OOP concepts, so if you only have experience with a procedural language (C, Pascal, etc.)don't worry. If you are a programming expert, purist, guru, or OOP king you may find this book a bit long and shallow.:)

    **** Not bad, January 21, 2001
    Reviewer: A reader (Menlo Park, CA, USA)
    This is written in the style of Bruce Eckel's books on C++ and Java. If you liked those, then you will probably like this one. Written in an accessible prose style, it covers the language syntax in exhaustive detail. It's weaker on applications, with a thin discussion of GUI and Web programming. If you have programmed in Java or C++, this is not a bad choice (though, personally, I prefer PYTHON ESSENTIAL REFERENCE, which is much terser).

    **** good book, January 11, 2001
    Reviewer: zmanz
    I have read the first 100 pages of the book. The author assumes that you know something about programming, so it is not for absolute beginners. As long as you know the basics of progamming you should be fine. The book is divided into 2 sections: Core Python and advanced topics( regular expressions, network programming, Web programming, and threads, etc). He starts off with a crash course in python covering all major topics of python. Then he covers the topics in detail. I have read other python books before and this one is by far the best. The author is a very good writer. He writes in a very clear and logical manner. The topics are covered thorougly. I haven't seen many errors in the text, so that's good.

    Amazon UK

    ***** an excellent book, 12 July 2010
    Reviewer: IT enthusiast
    Wesley Chun has written an excellent book, which is useful as both an introduction to the language, and as a reference. The style is easy to understand, concepts are explained clearly, and there are many examples to illustrate the ideas. Well worth the money.

    ** Would benefit from proof-reading, 4 Sep 2009
    Reviewer: David McLaughlin(UK)
    When I bought this book, I noticed there were eight reviews on Amazon, all of them giving it five stars. I thought at the time this was too good to be true, and so it proved. The book is full of errors.

    Some of the errors are merely an irritating distraction. For instance, on pages 14 and 17, there are headings with three superfluous thorn characters, "þþþ". Some are simply baffling, like the distinction between the 2-parameter full syntax of the range() function on page 301 and the 2-parameter abbreviated syntax on page 302. Some are more serious. For example, page 81 has what purports to be a discussion of Example 3.1 on the facing page; unfortunately, much of the discussion concerns the use of the os.linesep attribute, which doesn't appear anywhere in the example.

    Those errors could be forgiven; others are unacceptable. As a newcomer to Python, I struggled with the eval() example on page 104. The preamble suggests that it is an example of the use of repr(), when it isn't - it uses backquotes. Granted, we've just been told the two are equivalent, but there's no need to complicate what should be a straightforward illustration. But that's not all; the point of the example is to show that some values passed to eval() will return an "invalid syntax" error. Unfortunately, the "invalid syntax" error demonstrated is not the one intended; it arises from an extra parenthesis in the code.

    The most glaring error is that many of the page numbers in the index are wrong. That renders the book almost completely useless as a reference.

    A little effort could make the third edition (if there is one) a useful text, but I would not recommend the second edition.

    ***** Great book, 13 May 2009
    Reviewer: Gixxer Boy (UK)
    I bought this book while on holiday, i'm from a Perl / Java / *nix background and I found this book excellent. I'd recommed it to anyone looking to try Python out, and its been an invaluable reference ever since. I couldn't be parted from this great book! I was so impressed with Wesley Chun's writing style, i'm about to buy his (co-authored) Django book.

    ** A curate's egg of a book, 17 April 2009
    Reviewer: Jugsy (Cardiff)
    I read the previous reviews in which statements like "It brings beginners from no previous programming skills up to being adept programmers" were used and thought this is the book for me. However within 30 pages this assumption was dispelled. No doubt Chun has written a very comprehensive tome on Python, but even he says that "This book is meant for you if you are a programmer completely new to Python..." not as some reviews stated above. Hence do not buy this book, if like me your last programming experience was on a BBC computer using BASIC over 15 years ago. Why a curate's egg? Because it does introduce the basics of Python, but then refers to user-level threading libraries or using examples in which jargon obscures the purpose of the example. I'll keep on with this and let you know how it goes.

    ***** A wealth of knowledge, 6 Oct 2008
    Reviewer: K. Fleming (UK)
    core PYTHON programming SECOND EDITION is a well laid out respository of powerfull knowledge, all in one place. A brilliant aid to understanding Python programming at all skill levels. If like me you can't resist the urge to dig deeper and find out what makes things tick, then this is a resource second to none. A big thank you to WESLEY J CHUN and everyone who supported him in putting together this great piece of work. I will recommend this book everytime.

    ***** Very good Python primer for newcomers, 17 Jul 2008
    Reviewer: Michele (Rome, Italy)
    I learned Python basics thanks to this book. It is divided in two parts. In the first one, all the foundations of the language are clearly explained, whereas in the second one more andvanced stuff and applications are presented. Thanks to the many small scripts and examples, which you can try out on the fly, you can master all the basic syntax very quickly. Highly recommended reading for newcomers, it makes you appreciate the beauty of programming in Python.

    ***** Great book for a grounding in Python, 29 April 2008
    Reviewer: Ms. E. J. Weavers (London, UK)
    I have been very happy with this book as an introduction to Python. The pages are well laid out, the writing is clear and concise, good examples have been chosen to illustrate the features of Python and there are interesting exercises at the end of each chapter to consolidate ones knowledge. Highly recommended.

    ***** Excellent book for learning Python, 19 Mar 2008
    Reviewer: A. Smith "Andrew1979" (Leeds, UK)
    I got this book as a Christmas present (Christmas 2007) as I had been curious about Python for some time. I found the book really interesting and helpful and have read the book from chapter to chapter, beginning to end as I found the book that interesting. I found the book can be used either just purely as a reference as well as an interesting read. The book covers all of the core basic Python programming skills needed to use Python confidently with really good examples along the way so you can quickly get into Python scripting. The author covers advanced / additional topics such as regular expressions, widgets, socket programming among others if you're interested in learning further, again with excellent examples. This book is a must for any C/C++ programmers wanting to learn Python.

    ***** An awesome must have!, 29 Nov 2007
    Reviewer: K. H. Smith "C" (Seattle)
    I've just purchased this book for £14.x and I have to say, it's one of the best books I've ever read with regard to programming. It covers pretty much everything you would need.

    ***** deepest book on Python that I've read, 21 Nov 2007
    Reviewer: Bert Heymans (Belgium)
    The author details information on the language and it's internals in a very clear way. The book never kept me wondering "why is it like this" for too long, most of the time the answer to the question I had been asking myself could be read in the next paragraph or on the next page.
    I found useful things in this book that wouldn't be easy to get a hold of on the internet, nowadays that's my number one criterium for a good technology book. Love it!

    ***** Extremely good introductory book, April 16, 2001
    Reviewer: Chris Lamb (Edinburgh)
    I have the fortune of most of the Python related books to refer to but this title is the one I always look at first. It has been invaluable while I have been learning the language. I would strongly recommend anyone interested in an introductory Python text toward it, even ahead of the "Learning Python" title.

    ***** Completely brilliant - the book to start with for Python, January 9, 2001
    Reviewer: kjohnston (Ireland)
    This is a really excellent book. It brings beginners from no previous programming skills up to being adept programmers. It contains many useful and clear examples, introducing many modules. As a bonus it contains an excellent introductory chapter on CGI programming, which until now, has been hard to find. Hats off to Mr. Chun - it's what we've been waiting for!

    Amazon DE (Germany)

    ***** A must-have for the Python programmer, April 1, 2001
    Reviewer: korpilla at fmi.uni-passau.de from Ortenburg, Germany
    "Core Python" aims at the intermediate programmer, where intermediate means a programmer with more than novice knowledge about another language, most preferrably C/C++ or Java. This makes sense, since Python is most closely related to these languages, they're the logical choice for extending Python/JPython. Actually programmers familiar with these languages will get good hints in which aspects Python is different.

    The book is easy to read, as promised by the author, but some passages are really cramped with information. For use as a reference guide, this book is highly recommended. Tables summarize essential facts and give a good overview over key features. The books chapters are clearly related to their topics, and the topics are discussed in-depth. For example, when explaining garbage collection and memory allocation, useful facts as the reference-counting mechanism and the del command are explained, examples ease understanding. Unlike "Programming Python" from O'Reilly, this book is not only a collection of program samples, but fulfills its promise of teaching the "core" features of the language.

    Some advanced features are in my opinion mentioned a bit too early, except you already have an idea what the autor is talking about. I guess a novice programmer could learn the language by this book alone, since it is more than just a technical readout. But a steep learning curve would be the price, the O'Reilly book "Learning Python" would be a better recommendation, though still somewhat of a tough choice for the absolute novice. Unlike the O'Reilly books "Core Python" omits any Python-specific humor, it clearly aims at a professional audience, but its style makes you seem to inhale the facts, and that clearly compensates for that. The print of the book is not as well, especially the tables are too dark, as if colored graphics were printed black-white without any adjustment. This is especially surprising when keeping in mind the colorful wrapping of the book. Overall rating: A must-have for the Python programmer.

    comp.lang.python and other NEWSGROUPs and MAILING LISTs

    From: Oshan (ozizlk at gmail.com)
    Subject: Books recommendation
    Date: Wed Dec 8 05:40:23 CET 2010

    i'm a beginner too.. when i asked the same question, some python gurus recommended these books and videos. in fact it worked.. so now i'm forwarding the same to you...

    1. Core Python Programming by Wesley J. Chun
    2. python quick reference guide - *http://rgruet.free.fr/#QuickRef.*
    3. Python Phrasebook: Essential Code and Commands by Brad Dayley
    4. Python pocket reference by mark luts (O'reilly)
    5. PYTHON FOR SOFTWARE DESIGN - How to Think Like a Computer Scientist by
    allen B Downey

    From: "ALAN GAULD" (alan.gauld at btinternet.com)
    Subject: [Tutor] Lambda function, was: Simple counter to determine frequencies of words in adocument
    Date: Mon Nov 22 10:20:25 CET 2010

    You may like to track down a (library?) copy of Wesley Chun's book Core Python. It does a very good job of explaining to beginners what Python is up to internally. In my opinion its the best book for those beginners who like to "peer under the hood".

    From: "Greg" (7gaga7 at gmail.com)
    Subject: Re: Python book
    Date: Thu Oct 1 05:34:16 PDT 2009

    Elias, Try "Core Python Programming", 2nd Edition, by Wesley J. Chun. I love it! Cheers, Greg

    From: "Shawn Milochik" (Shawn at Milochik.com)
    Subject: Re: Your Favorite Python Book
    Date: Mon May 11 19:35:44 EDT 2009

    I second the Wesley Chun recommendation wholeheartedly. Also, "Text Processing in Python" is available for free online.

    From: (python at bdurham.com)
    Subject: Re: Your Favorite Python Book
    Date: Mon May 11 17:52:41 EDT 2009

    In no specific order (I brought them all): Wesley Chun's "Core Python Programming" David Mertz's "Text Processing in Python" (older, but excellent) Mark Lutz's "Learning Python" All highly recommended.

    From: "Abah Joseph" (joefazee at gmail.com)
    Subject: Re: book recommendation for Python newbie?
    Date: Fri Oct 10 14:57:05 CEST 2008

    Core Python Programming" written by Wesley J. Chun, second edition, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-226993-7, go for it. I`m only a PHP programmer and this book have helped me a lot from basic to advance level.

    From: "Gabriel Rossetti" (gabriel.rossetti at arimaz.com)
    Subject: Re: book recommendation for Python newbie?
    Date: Fri Oct 10 10:35:52 CEST 2008

    I Learned Python using "Core Python Programming" written by Wesley J. Chun, second edition, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-226993-7
    I found it to be really good, it starts by introducing the key concepts in the early chapters and then goes over each concept more in depth in the later chapters. The second part of the book has advances topics, like DB, network, RegEx, GUIs, etc.... I use Python in a professional environment to develop a commercial app. I was very quickly able to program in Python with this book.

    From: "Michael Poeltl" (michael.poeltl at univie.ac.at)
    Subject: Re: newbie in python
    Date: Thu Feb 21 15:41:09 CET 2008

    another book I like very much is "Core Python Programming" (written by Wesley Chun)

    From: "Shawn Milochik" (shawn at milochik.com)
    Subject: Re: Python Book Recommendations
    Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 10:47:40 -0400

    If I could have only one book, I would buy "Core Python, Second Edition," by Wesley Chun.

    From: "Midwest Book Review" (mwbookrevw at aol.com)
    Subject: MBR: The Computer Shelf
    Date: Mon, Dec 4 2006 11:19 am
    Group: alt.books.reviews

    Wesley Chun's CORE PYTHON PROGRAMMING, 2ND EDITION (0132269937, $49.99) provides developers with an in-depth survey of the updated Python 2.5, comes from a leading Python developer and trainer, and utilizes real-world code examples throughout to cover all the basics of Python programming. Other books on Python don't cover nearly as much - it's difficult to move smoothly from a basic introduction to advanced applications - but developers will appreciate the easy transitions here which focus on how to build more effective applications and how to use Python toolkits alongside the program itself.

    From: Ramon Diaz-Uriarte (rdiaz02 at gmail.com)
    Subject: Learning Python
    Date: Mon, Nov 6 2006 3:31 am

    If you are looking for a "book I'll pay money for", I'd recommend "Core Python Programming", by Chun.

    From: UrsusMaximus at gmail.com
    Subject: Observation on "Core Python Programming"
    Date: Sun, Oct 29 2006 4:27 pm

    I must say I find Wesley Chun's explanations to be most understandable. I cant' exactly figure out why yet, but he has a way of explaining something, like, say, decorators, that in minimal words elucidates for me the intent behind why they are useful. That helps me understand how they work. I just finished reading the chapter on Functions for the book, I guess I was partly prompted by this thread on the newsgroup. it was a *very* quick read, I could scan quickly but gain a better understanding of the whole topic of functions in Python, including inner functions, closures, decorators, continuations, and coroutines. Talk about bang for the buck, that half hour to 45 minutes of reading new chapter in Wesley Chun's new book was the best investment of time i have made in quite a while.

    I really like this book. I really, really, really like it.

    From: Jay Parlar (jparlar at cogeco.ca)
    Subject: 2.5 excitement
    Date: Wed, Apr 19 2006 6:53 am

    On Apr 18, 2006, at 9:06 PM, Alex Martelli wrote:
    > Funny timing coincidence: your 1st draft of Python for Dummies going
    > in now, my 2nd edition of Python in a Nutshell just went to production,
    > AND Wesley Chun's 2nd ed is also being finished this week.

    Wesley Chun is doing a second edition of Core Python? Oh wow! That's the book I learned Python with oh so long ago(between 1.5.2 and the mysterious 1.6). I told people for a long time that Core was the best book with which to learn Python....

    From: chris (chris at thedunscombes.f2s.com)
    Subject: RE: 10Gb experience
    Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 08:57:45 +0100

    You could also try "Core Python Programming - Chun" which I've found very helpful.

    From: dave (dave at immunitysec.com)
    Subject: [nylug-talk] ny python usergroup?
    Date: Tue Jul 20 14:51:00 EDT 2004

    I personally like the big white "CORE Python Programming" book. It's easy to read, and it gives you a good grasp of the basics of the language when you're done, even if you haven't touched a keyboard.

    From: Eddie Corns (eddie at holyrood.ed.ac.uk)
    Subject: Book Recommendation
    Date: Thurs, Oct 9 2003 7:29 am

    Anthony writes:
    >Hello I'm currently trying to read Core Python Programming, but by the
    >looks of it im never going to get done the book is about 860 pages long
    >real intimidating, but im guess im going to have to stick in there. have
    >any of you ever read it? is it a good book? if not what do you suggest i
    >read. Please help me i'm eager to learn :)

    I think CPP is a very good book (apart from being dated). As someone who had already done programming I found I just whizzed through it. Each chapter easily explained how each of the things I knew how to do would be done in Python and in the right order to build on. I read most of the chapters in 2 days (skipped regexs and classes IIRC on the first pass). Then I went and started applying it with the book at hand.


    From: David Mertz (mertz at gnosis.cx)
    Subject: Books: Core Python Programming vs. Python Cookbook
    Date: 2003-01-07 15:01:08 PST

    sir_penguin.geo at yahoo.com (Neil MacMillan) wrote previously:
    > I'm a 1st year computer science student, but I've been teaching myself
    > Python as my first useful programming language
    > Core Python for explanations of specific things...
    > I looked at Python Cookbook, which seemed interesting too.

    Of these two, I would recommend Chun's book to someone just learning Python. In fact, of the more than half dozen introductory books, _Core Python_ is probably my favorite, but _Learning Python_ and _Python Bible_ are both good (avoid the Martin Brown titles at all costs; all the others are OK).

    From: Geoff Howland (ghowland@lupineNO.SPAMgames.com)
    Subject: best way to learn
    Date: 2002-10-21 21:51:41 PST

    On Mon, 21 Oct 2002 20:20:20 -0700 (PDT), ed wrote:
    >Should I get a book, if so which one?
    >Or can I get pretty much everything I need on the web,
    >like a lot of good tutorials and some good language references?

    I found the python tutorial pages on the python.org site, and the
    modules to answer a lot of my inital questions. So they are a good
    part of it.

    I also bought 'Core Python Programming' by Wesley J. Chun (Prentice
    Hall) and it's been very useful. I use its tables on dict/string/list
    functions enough I should probably photocopy them, or get a memory.

    From: Janusz A. Urbanowicz (alex at bofh.org.pl)
    Subject: Best book on Python? [edited]
    Date: 2001-09-20 04:29:54 PST

    I'm quite content with having "Core Python Programming" by Wesley Chun. The book has two parts - a solid tour around the language, then a couple of sections on actual tasks like socket programming, TkInter, Web programming, REs etc.


    From: Jay Parlar (jparlar at home.com)
    Subject: newbie question
    Date: 2001-07-11 18:14:35 PST

    Bill Bell (bill-bell at bill-bell.hamilton.on.ca) wrote:
    > "crombie" (crombie88 at yahoo.com) wrote:
    > > so, i wanna learn python.
    > > i read the docs on python.org. what do i do now? is there like a
    > > website with a list of starter projects that need to be done in
    > > python to prove you know it and help you learn it?
    > Wesley Chun's "Core Python" has an excellent reputation. Wesley
    > himself is very helpful on the tutorial list.
    > Bill

    To reiterate what Bill said in his post, buy Wesley Chun's book. At the end of every chapter there are a good number of chapter related exercises. Chun tries to cover most of the chapter's topics in these problems, and they really helped me learn Python. I seriously can't recommend this book enough. It's a fantastic piece of work.

    Jay P.

    From: Arthur Watts (arthur.watts at gbst.com)
    Subject: [Tutor] Manuals/books
    Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 08:05:02 +1000

    ... Over the last 18 or so months, I have purchased each of these books:

  • Teach Yourself Python in 24 Hours
  • Learning Python
  • Programming Python
  • Python Essential Reference
  • Core Python Programming
  • Python Annotated Archives

    I admit that the sheer novelty of seeing new Python books on the shelves may have promoted some of these purchases. I also have an extensive library of other programming / IT titles, so I like to think I can tell a good book from one which has been cobbled together just to cash in on a language's popularity (just browse thru some of the Java titles out there today...). Of the titles I have listed, my favourites are the Essential Reference and Core Python Programming.

    Learning Python is also very well written, but I tend to be of the 'quickly show me the principle and a short example and I'll take it from here' breed, and the other two are very good for this. Reading books is no substitute for writing code and internalising the results for yourself (a lot of Python's subtleties aren't evident from simply scanning someone else's code...), but they do give you a good basis to work from.

    From: Sheila King (sheila at thinkspot.net)
    Subject: [Tutor] Python book suggestion please
    Date: Fri, 04 May 2001 20:27:27 -0700

    I have these three Python books:

    Programming Python, 2nd ed. Mark Lutz. Assumes that you already know Python. If you felt really comfortable after working through the Tutorial that comes with the standard distribution, and were already up and writing scripts, this might be a good book. Not concise. But, has an index. Lots of examples. Lots. Huge book.

    Core Python Programming. Wesley Chun. Assumes you already know some other high level programming language. Starts with a nice overview chapter, and then has a chapter on each topic which goes into more detail. My favorite of the three I have. Not as big as Programming Python, 2nd ed, and the print is larger. Lighter to read. Many examples.

    Quick Python. Daryl Harms and Kenneth McDonald. An extremely concise overview for someone who already knows how to program in another language. Small and compact. I haven't looked at this one quite as much. A fair number of examples. Most examples are snippets, rather than full programs.

    -- Sheila King

    From: Timothy Wilson (wilson at visi.com)
    Subject: [Tutor] Python book suggestion please
    Date: Fri, 4 May 2001 07:09:43 -0500 (CDT)

    On Fri, 4 May 2001, Daniel Yoo wrote:
    > 4. Wesley Chun has just written "Core Python Programming", and since
    > he's one of the tutor at python.org list operators, it would be simply
    > criminal not to mention his book. (Ahem.) I've heard good things about
    > it, but haven't had the chance to buy it yet.

    Well I've had the chance to buy and read most of it. It's excellent. Wesley's book is probably the best I've read so far. I like the mix of basic and more advanced topics at the end. The exercises in the back of the chapter are the best I've seen. (I plan to steal liberally from them next year when I teach my Python class :-)


    From: Jason Cunliffe (jasonic at nomadicsltd.com)
    Subject: Python Books for 2002
    Date: 2001-04-16 08:46:58 PST

    "Carlos Alberto Reis Ribeiro" (cribeiro at mail.inet.com.br) wrote:
    > So, what is needed is:
    > - a book that doest not suppose that readers are stupid, BUT
    > - does not go so far as assuming that they already know everything.
    > This is a very hard balance to achieve... No surprise that few books ever
    > achieve it.

    I recommend that of all the Python books thus far, 'Core Python Programming' by Wesley Chun has this balance.

    -- Jason

    From: Bo Vandenberg (bosahv at netscapenospam.net)
    Subject: Newbie needs book advice
    Date: 2001-04-14 22:06:01 PST

    I don't know about the Mac flavour of Python but the best book for me has been "Core Python Programming" by Wesley J. Chun. Its really well laid out. Its one of the more recent books too. Published by Prentice Hall.


    From: chris (chrislamb at btinternet.com)
    Subject: learning python...
    Date: 2001-03-24 03:36:57 PST

    Benjamin.Altman wrote:
    > Hello. From the perspective of someone who already has programming
    > experience, would anyone know if O'reillys "Learning Python" book would
    > be better than say Prentice Hall's "Core Python Programming"? Or would
    > it be better to go straight into something like "Programming Python"?

    "Core Python Programming" from PH is easily the better book for easing into Python. I am an O'Reilly fan and generally buy their books blind if it is on a subject I am interested in (since they very rarely disappoint). However on this occassion the PH book is a genuinely good book and worth buying, considerably more than the Learning Python book and the 2e version of Programming Python.


    From: alan runyan (runyaga at thisbox.com)
    Subject: Please rate these Python books
    Date: 2001-03-21 20:18:08 PST

    how are you approaching python? what is your level of experience w/ python? what kinda books do you like? reference, explanatory, or 'by example' ? My favorite is Essential Reference, David Beazley did a incredible job.

    1/Programming Python 2nd edition at O'reilly
    Very big, has quite a bit of information (4-5 chapters) on Tkinter (which I dont use at all), socket programming (which I do use), internet applications (HTMLgen, ZOPE, etc). The book is massive and has small type face, packed full of information. Examples tend to be a bit longer than Core Python. If you want tons of information and especially plan on using Tkinter, this is definetly the best book out of the three. I feel this book is very good and tends to get a bit more detailed than Core Python, but I only use ~40% of the information.

    2/ Core Python Programming / Chun / Prentice Hall
    I recommended a friend of mine this book, and I read quite a bit of it. Very well laid out, nice type face, very good (brief) examples. I would recommend this book. My friend read Core Python and Programming Ruby at the same time -- comparing the two languages. At first he didnt like it, but after he finished it he said it was a *very* good intro and has a very idea of python now. *NOTE* he finished the book. I wouldnt imagine finishing Programming Python. He also concluded Ruby didnt offer anything else that Python didnt have (that he would use) and likes the elegance.

    3/ Python Essential Reference / David Beazley / New Riders Publishing
    My favorite python book, great reference book if you already know python, or like Nutshell books. type face is very small ;( but its compact and full of all sorts of goodies. not as many examples as a newbie would like. at work, all the people who use python, snatch this from each others desk. if you like books and already familiar w/ python -- this is a must.


    From: chris (chrislamb at btinternet.com)
    Subject: Newbie needs book advice
    Date: 2001-04-15 00:56:03 PST

    May I repeat what has already been said: Core Python Programming is also an excellent book. I also have the Mark Lutz book but would have sorely missed the CPP book by Chun while I have been learning the language the last couple of months.

    Good luck and enjoy yourself! I have found Python great to develop with,


    From: Jason Cunliffe (jasonic at nomadicsltd.com)
    Subject: Great New Book
    Date: 2000-12-28 19:41:47 PST

    This morning I wes very happy to see in my local Barnes & Noble today a prominent stack of an excellent new book: 'Core Python Programming' by Wesley Chun.

    IMHO This is #1 the best written book on Python I have yet set eyes on. Wesley Chun has a deceptively clear prose style, and strikes a clean balance between the obvious but essential, yet carefully elucidating famous pythonic topics.

    I really think this is the most suitable entry text for Python which presently exists. It is writen with grace and skill by an author who obviously wnows his topic. It lays a great foundation. I truly look forwards to any more volumes he may produce in this series.

    - Jason


    Technical Book Favorites Amazon Listmania! list by Peter Bailey (London, ON Canada) 2008 Nov

    I have several books on python, and most of them are quite good. This one is at the top of my list. Gets into more detail than most, explaining how and why things work the way they do.

    Stack Overflow "Is there a definitive book on Python?" thread 2008 Oct

    Core Python Programming: It gives a thorough discussion of the core language, including some very lucid discussion of the wonkier aspects of the language (such as generators, list comprehensions). I found the coverage of the built in data structures very handy. This book is a good reference.


    For a person just learning to program, I second heartily the suggestion of using Python. Mac OS X has Python already installed, ready to go.... There are also many good books on Python.... Two books that I liked for learning Python are Learning Python ... and Core Python Programming ... by Wesley Chun....


    If you want a hard copy books, these three are among the best I know: Core Python Programming, Programming Python, and Learning Python. Personally I liked the Core Python Programming book the best, but the best for you will depend on your taste and background.


    If I could only own one Python book, it would be Core Python Programming, Second Edition by Wesley J. Chun. This book manages to cover more topics in more depth than Learning Python but includes it all in one book that also more than adequately covers the core language. If you are in the market for just one book about Python, I recommend this book. You will enjoy reading it, including its wry programmer's wit. More importantly, you will learn Python. Even more importantly, you will find it invaluable in helping you in your day-to-day Python programming life. Well done, Mr. Chun!

    Mr. Chun's writing style is uniquely qualified for his subject matter. He writes as if he were in the same room with the reader, engaging in a conversation. He anticipates questions, and explains ambiguities. I find his explanations of new and difficult material to be the best there is. He points out the reasons why difficult or new features are useful, what problems they are intended to solve, and then illustrates programming techniques with the shortest possible example code, making it as clear as conceivably possible. This style suits my brain.

    The book starts out with a quick but competent overview of the whole language, then moves into much more detailed coverage of each topic. This allows for more comprehensive coverage than if the author tried going into full detail on first bringing up each topic.... The book did not get written quickly, and it shows. The original edition itself was a masterpiece but six years later, the care and craftsmanship of many years is quite evident in the evolution of this book, which at 1077 pages contains no fluff.... Core Python Second Edition is my favorite Python book.

    HOMEUNIX.ORG WEBSITE 2006 Oct 25, 18:24:26

    Core Python Programming, another Prentice Hall beauty, this time by Wesley J. Chun.

    A funny thing happened on the way to work one day. I decided it was time to start learning a little python and suddenly, there was my favorite publisher, sending me emails about this new python book they had and would I look at it. "Sure!" said I, and boy am I glad I did.

    First, let me say that this book is an absolute monster at well over a thousand pages, and at a list price of $50, but its really worth it. This book let me start out as a complete python idiot and took my hand to gently guide me through loads and loads of information. As a novice, I found the book easy to get through and as a programmer, I found it easy to find references to the things I wanted to do in a hurry and the code snippets are invaluable as a quick syntax reference as well. This one is worth hanging on to!


    An excellent, thoroughgoing introduction to python from the perspective of a programmer with some modicum of experience.

    USELESS PYTHON/Mississippi Python users group WEBSITE (main link) 2001 Jul 13

    [My] highest praise goes to two books designed to help explain intermediate and advanced topics. Programming Python 2nd Edition by Mark Lutz is a very conversational tutorial of real world Python. And Core Python Programming by Wesley J. Chun covers basic concepts in depth before proceeding to more advanced topics, with exercises at the end of each chapter to encourage hands-on practice at each step along the way. These two books seem (to me) to have given Python newbies a lot of great material to explore together on the Python Tutor Email List and in other forums.


    Book Review: Core Python Programming by Wesley Chun (main link) Monday, September 26, 2011

    Easy Python Coding: Python For Beginners (main link) Sunday, August 29, 2010

    I strongly recommend Core Python Programming by Wesley J. Chun. This is the one book which helped me most learning Python and can help you too, even if you're a complete beginner with no previous experience whatsoever.

    Y Combinator AskYC/news entry by amour (main thread link) Saturday, February 23, 2008

    I found Core Python Programming by Wesley J. Chun is the best python book so far that I requested the university library to get it (among couple other books) for my research.

    All about Linux blog entry by Ravi (main link) Monday, February 11, 2008

    If you do not know Python language and is looking for some direction then you should look at the two books Core Python programming and Python phrasebook which will give you a head start in mastering this powerful but easy to learn language.

    Cold Front Ramblings blog entry by RichSkyline and MisterG (main link) Thursday, January 24, 2008

    If no one else reads this, I'm hoping Beginnerone will. Beginnerone is a student in my high school computer programming club. He is the perfect student to introduce Python to: smart, self-driven, clever, independent thinking.

    Not a week goes by without Beginnerone coming up with some cool new application he's written in Python. Python is like that: you can use it for extremely fast software development. No other language can even come close, IMO. What a beautiful language it is.

    CORE PYTHON PROGRAMMING is the best, single-volume book about Python. I came across it because Ron Stephens of the Python 411 Podcast ranted about it. Eventually he even did an interview from Pycon with Chun and it's a great listen.

    Beginnerone, this book is for you. You can borrow my copy or I'll use some school money to buy you one. Who knows where you'd go with this book--the possibilities really are endless.

    TaoSecurity blog comment by Anonymous [wasn't me! -ed.] (main link) 2007 Dec 31

    Anonymous said...

    I see on your reading list you are planning to study Python in August.

    I recommend you put Core Python, 2nd Edition in place of Programming Python, 3rd Edition.

    My experience is with the previous editions of both. I found Core Python to be a better way to learn the language; it was more readable and succinct. Programming Python tried to be all things to all people and was just too big and long. I see the 3rd Edition is even longer than the 2nd.

    5 Kickass Books for Software Engineering Students Handthrow blog entry by Matt (main link) 2007 Sep 8

    This is one that I've not actually had to buy for my course. We covered Python in one of my second year modules, and anyone who has come across Python would probably agree that it is pretty awesome and definitely worth getting familiar with. Core Python Programming has been written with programmers in mind and so it doesn.t spend an awful lot of time on basics such as program flow and control structures. Like Head First Java, it covers a lot of ground, including developing network applications with the twisted framework, multithreading, and talking to databases.

    /home/drear Book review blog entry (main link) 2007 Aug 31

    Programming handbooks make an exception in that these are computer books that I usually buy. When you are learning a new language, it is good to have some definite introductory book at your disposal. Not necessary because of the programming language per se, but maybe more because of the involved idioms that every language carry. When you go deeper, perhaps you get a new definite guide, but even if you have done your lifework with a given language, it is always good to have a handbook when your mind all of a sudden hits blank in the middle of a loop. Chun Wesley's 2nd edition Core Python Programming (2007) was my choice for this language that contains more idioms and paradigms than a basket made of other programming languages.

    This is a good book about programming. Most of all, it is clear, friendly and fun book to read. This not something to be said about most of the programming books. Quite amazingly, Core Python manages to retain these characteristics throughout the thousand pages that are spiced up with occasional dry humour and relaxed style of writing. There is no deficiency of code snippets and complete example programs. Also the book's layout is good. The clear look is fostered with a little oversized font. The publisher, Prentice Hall, has done a good work as well. One might even say that like Python code, also the book is beautiful.

    Get Going with Python 1: Getting a Feel for the Language ShoeMeDo Blog comment by Goyo Milner (main link) 2007 May 3

    For written resources, I would also have to add Wesley Chun's Core Python Programming 2nd Edition. I believe this is the best programming book I have ever read (and I have read a lot!).


    Python Forum (main link)

    From: Zyzle
    Subject: Re: Best Novice Book on the Python Forum
    Date: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:43 am

    As for the books I would(and often do) recommend "Core Python Programming" by Wesley [Chun]. Its a great book that goes through virtually everything you could want to know about python programming.

    Book News SciTech Book News review (main link) 2006 Dec

    This tutorial introduces the fundamentals of Python programming, such as syntax, objects, and data types, and then delves into more advanced topics, such as regular expressions, networking programming with sockets, and GUI development. This second edition reflects major enhancements in the Python 2.x series as well as capabilities for future versions, with new chapters on database and Internet client programming, and new material on new-style classes, Java and Jython, and Win32 COM Client programming. Chun is a Python software engineering consultant. (Annotation ©2006 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)

    Library Journal Computer Media review by Rachel Singer Gordon (main link) 2006 Nov 15

    For beginning to intermediate Python users but most useful for those with background in another programming language, this new edition contains updates for Python's latest version, 2.5. Its companion web site (www.corepython.com) contains code for each chapter, useful links, and information on the author's upcoming talks. Extensive chapter exercises are useful for self-study; other helpful features include an appendix of reference tables, tips on best practices, and a final section of advanced topics highlighting what people can build with Python. A thorough introductory guide, this is recommended for medium and larger libraries.

    MP3Car.com Forums Software & Software Development (main link)

    From: s003apr
    Subject: advice for starting out in VB programming
    Date: 02-05-2005, 08:46 PM

    I would not recommend VB. I really do think that it will be losing ground to better languages in the very near future. I think the best language for beginners is Python, without a doubt. My favorite book is "Core Python Programming". Plus there are some python front-ends for car software that other users around here have been working on that would make good examples for learning more.

    Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine Online Hoswell's Q&A column (main link) Jun 2004

    Personally, I really like Python. It's simple to learn, completely intuitive, amazingly flexible and pretty darned fast. Python has only just started to claim mindshare in the Windows world, but look for it to start gaining lots of support as people discover it.

    Bottom line? Learn VBScript for down-and-dirty Windows jobs and Python for cross-platform, enterprise-class work.... To learn Python, I'd start with Core Python Programming by Wesley Chun. The online documentation and tutorial is also terrific.

    Unix Review book review for Making Use of Python by Cameron Laird (main link) Feb 2003

    There are also several introductory published books on Python written with the passion and precision that Making Use of Python lacks. My "dead-trees" favorites are Core Python Programming and Learning Python.

    Dev Shed Forums Python Programming (main link)

    From: ptonman
    Subject: Python Newbies
    Date: August 29th, 2002, 07:56 PM

    If you learn well from books, I suggest 'Core Python Programming' by Wesley Chun. It is by far the best I've found. I'm a Python newbie as well and in 3 months time I've been able to implement Python in projects at work (automating MSOffice, SQL DB stuff, etc.).

    MacTech Magazine Scripting column by Paul Ammann (main link) Jun 2002

    For me, Core Python Programming by Wesley J. Chun was the book that converted me from Perl. Enough said.

    ZopeNewbies Mailing List (main link)

    From: runyaga
    Subject: Programming Python is Too Big!
    Date: 20 Jul 2001 10:11 AM

    > "Those of us in O'Reilly Editorial were, well, shocked when we saw
    > the size of the book..... I contracted with Mark Lutz for a 400-page
    > book on Python; what he delivered was twice that size. He later
    > admitted to me that he was afraid O'Reilly would publish only one
    > Python book, so he decided to put everything he could think of into
    > the first book."

    I dont really like the book. ;( I think its ok. but I dont use TKinter. I would much prefer to use wxWindows. And the book is entirely too large and too verbose for what its trying to accomplish - a definitive guide. I think Core Python by Wesley Chun does a much better job at introducing and explaining how the language works.



  • Dutch (what else?!?) description :-)
    Python is een handige, robuuste, expressieve, en volledig object georiëeerde programmeertaal. Python combineert de kracht van gecompileerde talen met de eenvoud en ontwikkelingssnelheid van een scripttaal. In 'Core Python Programming, 2nd Edition' leert u op een snelle manier met Python werken zodat u onmiddellijk aan de slag kunt met uw Python project.

  • Spanish description
    Una guía rápida y clara, muy asequible a todos los públicos pues no asume conocimientos previos ni experiencia similar. Revisa Python 1.6, el tratamiento de las expresiones regulares, extensiones de Python y el paradigma de la orientación a objetos. Incluye vario ejemplos aunque no son de una gran complejidad.

  • Italian review
    Recensione: Core Python Programming rappresenta il tanto atteso libro dedicato a chi vuole imparare il Python e può anche essere utilizzato com guida di riferimento, una volta completato il processo di apprendimento. Così come il Python stesso, è ordinato: parte dalle basi e v , gradualmente, ad esplorare tutte le sfaccettature del linguaggio. Inizia con una breve introduzione all’installazione dell’interprete, alla documentazione ed a JPython, un interprete Python completamente riscritto in Java. Dal capitolo 2 inizia lo studio del linguaggio, che si apre con il classico print ’Hello World!’ e prosegue con un’introduzione ai tipi di dato, agli operatori, alle istruzioni fondamentali (for e while), alla gestione dei file, alle funzioni ed ai moduli. Il capitolo successivo è dedicato alla sintassi e, in particolare, all’illustrazione del sistema di indentazione. Il Python è, infatti, un linguaggio in cui non esistono separatori, quali parentesi graffe per funzioni, cicli ed altri blocchi di codice, in quanto tutto è affidato all’indentazione, che deve, quindi, essere ben curata affinché un programma funzioni. Il quarto capitolo copre gli oggetti, il cuore del Python, mentre i successivi sono dedicati a numeri, sequenze (stringhe, liste e tuple), ai dizionari (corrispondenti a quelli che, in altri linguaggi, sono conosciuti come array associativi o hash), ai loop ed alle istruzioni condizionali ed all’input/output su file. Il Python include una potente gestione di errori ed eccezioni, di cui si parla nel decimo capitolo che, poi, lascia spazio a sezioni sulle funzioni, sui moduli e sulla programmazione OOP. Quanto sin qui riportato costituisce solo la prima parte del testo, quella dedicata al linguaggio in sé. La seconda parte copre, invece, la programmazione avanzata: espressioni regolari, programmazione di reti, multithreading, interfacce grafiche, programmazione Web ed estensioni al linguaggio. Varie appendici completano il volume. Ogni capitolo è diviso in più sezioni che, oltre ad una spiegazione mirata dell’argomento, contengono validi esempi ed un certo numero di esercizi per il lettore. Il CD-Rom incluso contiene tutti gli esempi del libro, i sorgenti dell’interprete e varie distribuzioni di Python, compilate per i più diffusi sistemi operativi.

    Pro: Con Core Python Programming è stata coperta una "mancanza editoriale" che consisteva, appunto, nell’assenza di un testo ordinato e coerente che spiegasse bene il linguaggio di Guido Van Rossum. È molto completo ed è consigliato a tutti i programmatori Python, soprattutto a quelli che vogliono avvicinarvisi.

    Contro : Sebbene sia di pubblicazione molto recente, copre solo parzialmente la versione 2.0, più che altro fornendo una carrellata delle novità introdotte L’autore si concentra, infatti, più che altro sulla versione 1.5, con molti riferimenti a feature presenti nella 1.6 (che, in gran parte, sono comunque quelle che caratterizzano la 2.0).

  • Japanese translation of IBM Developer Works review (see above)

  • Chinese translation of IBM Developer Works review (see above)
  • Chinese retail description

  • Korean translation of IBM Developer Works review (see above)
  • Korean retail description


    C. R. Timmons Consulting

    Python is simply a beautiful language. It's easy to learn, it's cross-platform, and it works. It has achieved many of the technical goals that Java strives for. A one sentence description of Python would be: "All other languages appear to have evolved over time - but Python was designed". And it was designed well.... Unfortunately, there aren't a large number of books for Python. The best one I've run across so far is Core Python Programming.

    MLM Consulting

    If you like the Prentice-Hall Core Programming series, another good full-blown treatment to consider would be Core Python Programming; it addresses in elaborate concrete detail many practical topics that get little, if any, coverage in other books.

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