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Python Books Programming

2nd Edition of Learn Python the Hard Way Released 167

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-with-upside-down-writing dept.
theodp writes "Are you or your kid intrigued by Python, but not quite ready to purchase an in-depth O'Reilly book? Zed A. Shaw's 2nd edition of Learn Python The Hard Way may be a friendlier option. Shaw's path to Python programming is simple: 1. Go through each exercise, 2. Type in each sample exactly, 3. Make it run. If $60 for the hardcover is too much to ask, or $15.99 for paperback, you can spend a measly buck for the PDF/ePub download. Still too steep? OK, there's even a free online HTML edition. After completing the 52 exercises, Shaw's concluding Advice From An Old Programmer says, 'Which programming language you learn and use doesn't matter. Do not get sucked into the religion surrounding programming languages as that will only blind you to their true purpose of being your tool for doing interesting things.'"
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2nd Edition of Learn Python the Hard Way Released

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  • by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @11:19PM (#36607192) Homepage

    Java as a base language is just fine. The problem is that the sort of problems people like to solve with Java involve things like database interaction, web applications, and user interface construction. And doing all those things turns Java programming into a giant library exploration exercise.

    Many other languages end up falling into the same trap if you try to push them toward the same things Java aims at. Python for example has a pretty weak database interface layer. If you want to build a non-trivial DB app, you're likely to add both a database driver plus an ORM solution to make that work sensibly. As a PostgreSQL developer I run into psycopg2 + SQLAlchemy as an example combination. The resulting code is arguably no less "library call sequencer" than a similar solution built using JDBC + Hibernate. And the Java one also fits together into all these other "enterprise" app widgets--application servers and database connection poolers for example. You can do all that in Python, too, but you'll find yourself wandering into the same scale of library mess in the end.

    Building an application development framework toolkit that doesn't feel like your language has been turned around to suit the needs of the library is a hard problem. I think one of the reasons Rails has become so successful is that it did a better job than most of avoiding that problem (albeit while giving you a whole different set of problem trade-offs to worry about instead).

  • by Raenex (947668) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @11:43PM (#36607336)

    They can be in your way, they can make you jump though hoops, they can require you to create so much noise that you need tools to write anything in it (java is a prime example).

    While I'll admit that Java has too much boilerplate, tools are good regardless of any language you use. You don't need tools to write in Java -- people managed before fancy IDEs came along. However, because Java is statically typed, it lends itself to more powerful tools. This is really helpful as projects get bigger.

    I also have observed that most of the Java crowd never manages to get to the level of being even mediocre programmers.

    Oh please, cut the bullshit bashing. I could say the same thing about Python programmers, but that's just throwing insults around.

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