Jython Essentials, O'Reilly 2002, 277 pages

I like playing around with Jython. There's something about seeing my Python scripts turned into Java .class files and .jar files and running in a JVM that I get a kick out of. So, although I know I have read too many Python related books, when my daughter gave me a $25 gift certificate form Barnes and Nobles for Christmas, and then I saw a copy of Jython Essentials for $24.95, i just couldn't resist.

The book is a good introduction to and summary of Jython. It takes middle ground between being a book for Java programmers who want to use Jython (like Jython for Java Programmers by Robert W. Bill, New Riders) and a book primarily for Python programmers who want to learn Jython ( like Python Programming with the Java Class Libraries by Richard Hightower). Jython Essentials is appropriate for either group.

The book covers the core language, which isn't necessary if you are already a Python programmer. There is good coverage of using the SWING gui toolkit, which is an important topic to me because I'm always interested in how to use various gui toolkits with Python, and SWING is an attractive one because it will run on any machine with a JVM and because the combination of Jython and SWING is pretty simple and straitforward to learn and use. The book does a good job in this area.

There is also good coverage of using various other Java libraries with Jython, as well as using the Python libraries with Jython. The explanation of how to use the jythonc compiler is especaiily good, I think, because it is very clear and comprehensible.

The book is written by Samuele Pedroni and Noel Rappin (with a forward by Jim Hugunin, the original creator of JPython which became Jython). Mr. Pedronni is on of the core Jython developers, and so you would expect this understanding and explanations to be clear, and they are.

I can heartily recommend this book, if you are interested in Jython.