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A Byte of Python

     Python is probably one of the few programming languages which is both simple and powerful. This is good for both and beginners as well as experts, and more importantly, is fun to program with. This book aims to help you learn this wonderful language and show how to get things done quickly and painlessly - in effect 'The Perfect Anti-venom to your programming problems'.

     This book serves as a guide or tutorial to the Python programming language. It is mainly targeted at newbies. It is useful for experienced programmers as well.
     The aim is that if all you know about computers is how to save text files, then you can learn Python from this book. If you have previous programming experience, then you can also learn Python from this book.
     If you do have previous programming experience, you will be interested in the differences between Py- thon and your favorite programming language - I have highlighted many such differences. A little warn- ing though, Python is soon going to become your favorite programming language!

     I first started with Python when I needed to write an installer for my software Diamond (http://www.g2swaroop.net/software/) so that I could make the installation easy. I had to choose between Python and Perl bindings for the Qt library. I did some research on the web and I came across an article where Eric S. Raymond, the famous and respected hacker, talked about how Python has be- come his favorite programming language. I also found out that the PyQt bindings were very good com- pared to Perl-Qt. So, I decided that Python was the language for me.
     Then, I started searching for a good book on Python. I couldn't find any! I did find some O'Reilly books but they were either too expensive or were more like a reference manual than a guide. So, I settled for the documentation that came with Python. However, it was too brief and small. It did give a good idea about Python but was not complete. I managed with it since I had previous programming experience, but it was unsuitable for newbies.
     About six months after my first brush with Python, I installed the (then) latest Red Hat 9.0 Linux and I was playing around with KWord. I got excited about it and suddenly got the idea of writing some stuff on Python. I started writing a few pages but it quickly became 30 pages long. Then, I became serious about making it more useful in a book form. After a lot of rewrites, it has reached a stage where it has become a useful guide to learning the Python language. I consider this book to be my contribution and tribute to the open source community.
     This book started out as my personal notes on Python and I still consider it in the same way, although I've taken a lot of effort to make it more palatable to others.
     In the true spirit of open source, I have received lots of constructive suggestions, criticisms and feedback from enthusiastic readers which has helped me improve this book a lot.

Read book online on Google Docs A Byte of Python

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