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Python Essential Reference (4th Edition) (Developer's Library) [Kindle Edition]

David M. Beazley
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Python Essential Reference is the definitive reference guide to the Python programming language — the one authoritative handbook that reliably untangles and explains both the core Python language and the most essential parts of the Python library.

Designed for the professional programmer, the book is concise, to the point, and highly accessible. It also includes detailed information on the Python library and many advanced subjects that is not available in either the official Python documentation or any other single reference source.


Thoroughly updated to reflect the significant new programming language features and library modules that have been introduced in Python 2.6 and Python 3, the fourth edition of Python Essential Reference is the definitive guide for programmers who need to modernize existing Python code or who are planning an eventual migration to Python 3. Programmers starting a new Python project will find detailed coverage of contemporary Python programming idioms.


This fourth edition of Python Essential Reference features numerous improvements, additions, and updates:

  • Coverage of new language features, libraries, and modules
  • Practical coverage of Python's more advanced features including generators, coroutines, closures, metaclasses, and decorators
  • Expanded coverage of library modules related to concurrent programming including threads, subprocesses, and the new multiprocessing module
  • Up-to-the-minute coverage of how to use Python 2.6’s forward compatibility mode to evaluate code for Python 3 compatibility
  • Improved organization for even faster answers and better usability
  • Updates to reflect modern Python programming style and idioms
  • Updated and improved example code
  • Deep coverage of low-level system and networking library modules — including options not covered in the standard documentation



Summary Hailed for its conciseness and clarity, David Beazley's Python Essential Reference has long been the indispensable reference guide for every experienced programmer who wants to make the most of the Python language. Now, Beazley has thoroughly updated this classic for the significant new features and library modules that have been introduced in both Python 2.6 and 2.5 as well as features in Python 3.0. Drawing on his extensive recent experience leading Python training sessions and boot camps, Beazley has reorganized this book for even greater ease-of-use, and offers even more practical code examples that address the issues working programmers are most likely to encounter. Beazley begins with a carefully distilled and exceptionally readable introduction to the language, then presents authoritative reference content on every standard Python library module. In this edition, he also previews the anticipated, radically new Python 3 (a.k.a. "Python 3000"), which will break backwardcompatibility with Python 2.x. Readers will learn how to write Python 2.6 code that will be easy to migrate, and how to use Python 2.6

's forward-compatibility mode to evaluate code for Python 3 compatibility.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 23613 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 717 Seiten
  • Gleichzeitige Verwendung von Geräten: Bis zu 5 Geräte gleichzeitig, je nach vom Verlag festgelegter Grenze
  • Verlag: Addison-Wesley Professional; Auflage: 4 (29. Juni 2009)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B002EF2AQ6
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #175.496 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Exzellente Mischung zwischen Einführung und Nachschlagewerk.

Der erste Teil des Buches ist ideal für alle, die bereits Programmiererfahrung in einer anderen Programmiersprache haben und neu in Python einsteigen wollen: Ein kurzer Überblick über die wichtigsten Grundlagen und eine Einführung in die Konzepte der Programmiersprache Python mit Beispielen genügte für uns, um direkt "loslegen" zu können.

Für alle mit Python-Erfahrung ist besonders der zweite Teil ein gelungenes Nachschlagewerk über viele der wichtigsten Bibliotheken Pythons mit Kurzbeispielen, und hat zum Teil schönere und kompaktere Beschreibungen und Zusammenfassungen (z.B. für die Syntax Regulärer Ausdrücke) als im Internet zu finden sind.

Schon vor Jahren wurde für uns die zweite Auflage unerlässliches Hilfsmittel auf dem Schreibtisch, und wird nun durch die vierte Version abgelöst.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.3 von 5 Sternen  84 Rezensionen
61 von 61 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Probably the best "second book" on Python 4. März 2011
Von Alexandros Gezerlis - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
David Beazley's "Python Essential Reference, Fourth Edition" covers Python 2.6 and 3.0, and is thus quite (though not completely) up to date. The author has in essence chosen to present the intersection of the two branches, i.e. omit features of Python 2 that have been removed from Python 3. This volume's pace is rapid and the coverage is quite extensive, so this probably shouldn't be the first Python book one reads.

The Good: this book is approximately 700 pages long; even so, it's not that bulky and is therefore quite manageable. It is split into two parts: 200 pages on the language and roughly 400 pages on the library. The first part is very good, while the second part is unrivaled as of this writing (though this may change when Doug Hellmann's "The Python Standard Library by Example" comes out). Thus, the reader essentially gets two books for the price of one: the part on the language can be read linearly, while the library part can be read in chunks as the need arises. The book also includes an extremely useful Index which is approximately 80 pages long (and also contains unexpected entries, e.g. "chicken, multithreaded, 414"). Moving on to the material covered: Beazley includes an appendix on Python 3-specific concepts, but also offers useful advice on Python 3 throughout the main text (e.g. "To keep your brain from exploding, encoded byte strings and unencoded strings should never be mixed together in expressions"). I particularly enjoyed the sections on decorators, generators, and coroutines in the chapter on functional programming. Beazley has also posted on his website two tutorials on these topics that nicely complement the material in the book. Similarly, the chapter on multiprocessing and threading is impressive, and forms a nice set with the author's talk slides on the Global Interpreter Lock -- it's important to note that Beazley used to be a professor of Computer Science. Probably the most significant aspect of this book is the abundance of examples. I'm pretty sure the phrase that is most often repeated in this volume is "Here's an example". The examples are always enlightening, sometimes clever, but never obfuscating. Finally, the writing may not be flawless but overall it is quite good. Of course, any reference text is bound to be somewhat dry, but within the confines of the genre Beazley has truly done wonders: he has a personality and he's not afraid to show it. This jovial aspect of the writing is present when giving advice (e.g "Try not to mix threads and multiprocessing together in the same program unless you're vastly trying to improve your job security", p. 435), or just for its own sake (e.g. "If you change the code to only poll after every six-pack of beer", p. 469)

The Bad: chapter 1 is fun to read but it is deceptively titled ("A Tutorial Introduction"). For example, Beazley uses a decorator and the seek file method, without explaining anything about either of them. Of course, this book isn't supposed to be introductory, so strictly speaking my quibble is with the first chapter's title, not its content. The biggest problem I encountered while reading the book was the page layout in the majority of Part II: a module is introduced and then its methods are described by showing a name in bold, followed by a description on a separate line. This confused me to no end: whenever I saw a name, for a split second I would wonder if I should look up or down to find the description. This could have been avoided if the more standard tabular form had been chosen more often: name on one column, description on the other. Of course, I understand that this would have increased the size of the book considerably, perhaps prohibitively so. Moving on to more detailed complaints: for some modules (e.g. struct, shutil, os.path) Beazley gives a listing of the contents but, unfortunately, no corresponding examples. To be fair, he does use os.path functionality in a number of places throughout the book (though the index is no help tracking them down), just not in the appropriate section. Delving into even more detail: any book of this breadth is bound to contain minor errors. Here's a selection of such slips, all drawn from the same chapter: in some cases the prose is obscure, e.g. "A method is a function that performs some sort of operation on an object when the method is invoked as a function." (p. 33); sometimes a statement is contradicted in a later chapter, e.g. we read on p. 39 that "Sequences represent ordered sets of objects indexed by non-negative integers and include strings, lists, and tuples." only to find out on p. 68 that "Negative indices can be used to fetch characters from the end of a sequence."; similarly, on p. 45 we read that for dictionary methods like keys() "in Python 3 the result is an iterator that iterates over the current contents of the mapping", while on p. 632 we learn that "these methods return so-called view objects".

These days, the aspiring intermediate Python programmer doesn't have too many books to choose from: Martelli/Ravenscroft/Ascher's "Python Cookbook" is out of date, Ziade's "Expert Python Programming" contains too much material that is not Python-specific, and Alchin's "Pro Python" is only ~ 250 pages long. Thus, for the time being Beazley's "Python Essential Reference" is the obvious choice for a second book on Python. All in all, four and a half stars.

Alex Gezerlis
84 von 87 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An excellent reference to get the maximum out of Python 14. August 2009
Von Tom G. - Veröffentlicht auf
The author of Python Essential Reference is David Beazley, who among other occupations created the open-source SWIG tool and the WAD mixed-languages debugger. His background is pervading throughout the book, in which the reader gets a clear sense of what is happening behind the Python programming language and learns how to use it efficiently instead of considering it as a black box.

The first 20 pages give an overview of the language and although it is called a "tutorial introduction", it should be understood that its purpose is for a programmer to see what Python looks like, and not for a novice to get their first programming course.

The next 156 pages offer a thorough review of the language and its environment. This is a very interesting part and should not be skipped even by people who already know Python. I said "review" but an experienced programmer should be able to learn the language by reading those chapters and putting them into practice with extra exercises.

Instead of simply describing the language, the author also hands out tricks of the trade, showing how to acquire good coding habits while using an sensible approach regarding the performance, which is often essential in a dynamic language. The fourth edition is focusing on version 2.6 but offers some historical perspective by pointing out several elements that were recently improved, or which are about to change in upcoming versions.

The first part of the book concludes with useful recommendations on program debugging and profiling.

The second part contains 388 pages and goes through the Python library, presenting the essential modules together with examples, notes and advices. After all, this is a reference, so we shouldn't expect any less.

Last but not least, the third part comprises 30 pages of precious information on Python/C interface for extending the language or embedding it in larger applications.

An appendix introduces version 3 for those who are ready to make the leap.

For the sake of completeness, if I were to make any reproach or wish for improvement, it would probably be on the overall presentation (and would be a very minor one). The style in the code excerpts could be more consistent in the first part of the book, and the second part could do with more emphasis on the ... reference ... character of the text, perhaps by providing a more convenient way to navigate through the different modules and by using more obvious styles for the different parts. I sometimes had the impression of reading a long listing of modules and methods instead of looking through a reference book. While the contents is superior to other references like "Python in a Nutshell", I found it easier to retrieve what I needed with the latter - a bit on the brink of obsolescence today - than I do now with the former.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone desirous of improving their programming skills in Python, or having to write optimized code because performance is an issue.
45 von 46 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Best Reference for the Experienced Programmer 5. August 2009
Von Robert Hancock - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I've worked in C, C++, and Java, and for the last six years in Python. This is the book I've been looking for. If you want to know how the language works under the covers and how to best use it, this book is invaluable. The explanation of co-routines and generators is the best I've seen.

The presentation is logical and concise, and the examples are realistic. I've read many Python books, but this is the one that will stay on my desk.
13 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A great reference! 11. Juli 2010
Von Christopher Steffen - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This book is a wonderful, and very thorough, reference to the Python Programming Language. It has a great deal of information contained therein, with good code examples and explanations so that it's easy to find what you need and put it to good use. It also manages to cover both Python 2 and Python 3 in the same text, which is VERY useful if you're migrating, or even if you're just curious about what differences exist between the two.

The only problem I have with this book is that a great deal of the content seems stripped, verbatim, from the Python Documentation ([...]). Code examples are the same, explanations and descriptions are the same... It's like the author copy-pasted from the python documentation, then glued it all together with a little insight and experience. Perhaps the author contributed to the Python Documentation website as well?

Despite this, the book is still an amazingly invaluable resource. Yes, almost all the information is available for free online. And yes, you can download a local copy of the Python Documentation from the website, for both Python 2 and Python 3, for free. However, in this book, you have a nigh complete reference of BOTH, including insights into each, all in an easy-to-use paperback form. (While I love e-books, they suck for programming. I'd prefer not to alt-tab between the reference and the code all the time.)

So if you don't want to spend money, go download the Python Documentation, it's free and contains pretty much everything the book talks about.

But if you don't mind paying, you'll find that this is a wonderful addition to your Python Programmer's bookshelf.
17 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen This is The Book 4. Oktober 2009
Von Mike Howard - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This is The Book I keep on the table when I write Python code.

Python is too big to fit in my head - little bits keep getting pushed out and smeared with other things - like PHP, HTML, CSS, Javascript, etc etc. This book has the details clearly, succinctly and (generally) completely described. The only more authoritative source is [...].

If you write code and want a good, concise readable reference: this is the book. If you're the type who learns new languages from 'the manual': this is the book. If you have to have a tutorial - go to a bookstore and read chapter 1. If it works for you, then: this is the book.

I've previously owned editions 1 and 3. The quality stays constant and the material and coverage expands.
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