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Python: Create – Modify – Reuse


Python: Create-Modify-Reuse is designed for all levels of Python developers interested in a practical, hands-on way of learning Python development. This book is designed to show you how to use Python (in combination with the raw processing power of your computer) to accomplish real-world tasks in a more efficient way. Don’t look for an exhaustive description of the Python language––you won’t find it. The book’s main purpose is not to thoroughly cover the Python language, but rather to show how you can use Python to create robust, real-world applications.

In this respect, the goal is similar to foreign-language books that identify themselves as “conversational,” focusing on the vocabulary and concepts that people will need the most. Likewise, I focus specifically on the Python knowledge needed to accomplish practical, specific tasks. Along the way, you will learn to create useful, efficient scripts that are easy to maintain and enhance.

This book is for developers with some experience with Python who want to explore how to develop full-blown applications. It is also for developers with experience in other languages who want to learn Python by building robust applications. It is well-suited for developers who like to “learn by doing,” rather than exploring a language feature by feature. To get the most out of the book, you should understand basic programming principles.

Because this book is project-based, you can approach it in numerous ways. You can, of course, read it from cover to cover. Chapters 2 through 8 each cover a different project, so the chapters are independent of each other. However, because each chapter project is covered individually, there may be some overlap of information. I also sometimes refer to explanations of particular topics covered in previous chapters. This will help to reinforce important concepts.

The end of the book contains two appendixes. The first one is a listing of Python resources you can check out for more information. The second one will help you with installing additional components used in some of the examples.

This book starts with a basic overview of the Python language, designed for those familiar with other languages but new to Python. It is followed by several chapters, each of which describes a complete project that can be used as-is or modified and extended to suit your particular purposes. You’ll find applications that access databases, take advantage of web technologies, and facilitate network communications, to name a few. In addition, and more important than the technologies you will be introduced to, you will learn how to use Python to solve real challenges. Following these chapters are two chapters that cover accessing operating system resources and debugging and testing, respectively.

Each project chapter contains complete instructions describing how to install and use the application, so you can actually see the program run as you learn how to construct and use it, including how the project was designed and prototyped. This book is intended to be both a reference guide and a learning aid, teaching you how to build solutions with Python and providing reference information on a wide variety of Python programming concepts.

It is hoped that this book will help you have fun with Python and build useful applications, and—unlike my experience with building a deck—without sore thumbs.

This book is framed around the code itself. This is because developers are typically looking for how to do something; and, as with many activities, you learn how to do something by watching how others do and trying it yourself. If you want to know how a for loop works, you’ll find for loops in my code, but that’s not the thrust of the book. Instead, this book shows you how to do things: how to build a content management system, how to build a test management system, how to set up a system for tracking customer follow-up, and so on. Along the way, you’ll learn how to communicate with a SQL database, how to act as a web server or communicate with one, how to access operating system services, and more.

From the Back Cover
Python: Create-Modify-Reuse

Aimed at all levels of Python developers who are interested in a task-based way of learning Python development, this hands-on book shows how you can efficiently use Python to create robust, real-world applications. After a brief primer on this object-oriented, interactive programming language, you will jump right into practical Python development so that you can create useful, streamlined scripts that are easy to maintain and enhance, and that you can immediately put to use in the real world.

Each chapter features a complete project that you can use as it currently exists or modify to suit your particular purposes. Among these projects you’ll find applications that access databases, take advantage of web technologies, facilitate network communications, and more. Plus, you’ll also explore more advanced topics such as accessing operating system resources, writing scripts that are easy to read and maintain, and debugging and testing. However, even more important than the technologies you will be introduced to, you will learn how to use Python to solve real challenges.

What you will learn from this book

  • The various technologies and techniques that are available to Python developers
  • Ways to communicate with an SQL database
  • Tips for acting as a web server or communicating with one
  • How to access and manipulate XML files
  • Techniques for building a content management system
  • Ways to access and communicate with your operating system

This book is for developers who want to explore how to develop full-blown applications with Python. A general understanding of basic programming principles and object-oriented design is helpful.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Wrox (June 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470259329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470259320
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