The Quick Python Book is a clear, concise introduction to Python, one of the most elegant programming languages in existence. This book is designed so that you can use it to quickly become proficient in Python. However, it provides more than just a beginner's tutorial. Even once you've become more experienced, it should continue to be quite valuable to you as an indexed cache of information on the bulk of the Python concepts and constructs of which you will find yourself wanting to refresh or augment your knowledge.
The Quick Python Book first covers the core features of Python (syntax, control flow, basic data structures, etc.) and provides the knowledge to write basic but useful scripts. Features in Python common to other languages are covered very concisely, while features unique to Python are explained in detail.
It next discusses Python features which would be useful to anyone using Python in larger applications, including facilities for managing large collections of code, object-oriented programming, advanced string handling, etc.
The last section of the book discusses advanced topics: Windows/COM programming with Python, integrating Python and Java (Python is one of the few languages other than Java which can be compiled into Java bytecode), extending the Python language with C, and an introduction to some of the advanced web site building tools that are available for Python.
The new integrated development environment bundled with Python release 1.5.2 (IDLE) is undergoing rapid evolution. Therefore the authors are maintaining an online tutorial in HTML format which will be updated for new releases of IDLE. This can be downloaded from: http://www.python.org/idle/doc/.
In order to assist with the continued development of Python, the authors are donating 24% of the royalties earned by this book to Python Software Activity.
Translation rights for The Quick Python Book have been granted for German and Czechoslovakian editions of this book. If you are interested in learning where to buy this book in a language other than English, please inquire at your local bookseller.
The book is aimed at readers who know programming but for whom the Python language is new.
Daryl Harms holds a Ph.D. in computer science. He has been working on the design and the development (or the management of the development) of small and large software systems since the mid-1980's. He is currently a software development consultant working out of Calgary, Alberta.
Kenneth McDonald is a longtime programmer/analyst and advocate for free software. He holds the B.Sc. and M.Sc. in computer science and has been, at various times, a Unix system administrator, independent software developer, and investor. His most recent position was with the Washington University School of Medicine, where he worked as part of the Human Genome Project as a programmer/analyst.