General Programming Python information

This page has a more or less random collection of additional information on the Python book I've written. It's prone to change often, so check back for updated details. Contents:


Publishing information

"Programming Python" was first released on October 11, 1996. At this writing (1/00), the book is in its eight printing (or later--the dates below are the ones I know about), and a Japanese translation has been released in two volumes (1998).

Printing history, first edition (as of 1/00):

  1. Oct 1996 (initial release)
  2. Apr 1997 (minor typo fixes only)
  3. Nov 1997 (minor typo fixes, minor cover redesign)
  4. Dec 1998 (minor typo fixes, minor cover/cd redesign)
  5. Feb 1999 (minor typo fixes only)
  6. Mar 1999 (minor typo fixes only)
  7. Jul 1999 (minor typo fixes only)
  8. Jan 2000 (minor typo fixes only)

You can tell which printing you have by checking dates in the inside of the page at the front with copyright information. See O'Reilly's web site at "http://www.ora.com" for more details.

Programming Python
Object-Oriented Scripting
By Mark Lutz

O'Reilly & Associates
1st Edition, October 1996
ISBN: 1-56592-197-6
880 pages, Includes CD-ROM


About this book: themes and topics.

This book is about Python, an exciting object-oriented programming language. Python is commonly used as both a scripting language for other systems, and a stand alone rapid-development tool. To address all its roles, this book covers a fairly broad range of topics.

Major themes.

In general, the book looks at Python, popular extensions, and Python extension tools. More specifically, it addresses:

The book also stresses software engineering themes like reusability, abstraction, and speed-of-development, because these are some of the things Python is designed to optimize.

Major topics.

In terms of actual topics, here's some of what you can expect to find. This book is intended to serve as a general Python text, but it also presents popular Python domains and tools along the way.


High-level outline, and other odds-and-ends.

So what's actually in this book? From a contents perspective, it's fairly comprehensive. The next two sections give some contents and statistics information.

The outline.

Here's the book's top-level contents, with original page counts. Note that these page counts are for my print-driver - they will vary when the book is published, and some of the contents here may change as well (O'Reilly may add more standard sections at the front and end, and formatting may add an arbitrary number of pages to the total).


Table of Contents
Preface [5]
Foreword (Guido van Rossum) [4]

Part 1: Introducing Python [55] Part 2: Language Fundamentals [165] Middle: a summary for part-2 material [5]

Part 3: Tools and Applications [289] Conclusion: Python and the development cycle [12]

Appendices [105] Total: [roughly 650 pages]

Other components.

Besides the sections and chapters listed above, the book contains some:

the last time I counted. The program examples vary from simple to advanced, and are all available on the CD-ROM included with the book. There are also lots of notes and sidebars along the way (I never got around to counting these :-).


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