Python Bible

This is a good and thorough book. When I came to read the Python Bible, I had already read quite a few more or less comprehensive Python books. For this reason, it is hard for me to evaluate how I would have felt about the Python Bible if I had read it first.

For instance, while Core Python and Programming Python are somewhat my favorite Python books, I have to admit that, if I had read the Python Bible first, it would probably have been right up there with Core Python.

Why do I say this? Well, the Python Bible covers even more territory than Core Python; and it is also well written, as a I stated in my original review. In fact, I suspect, upon re-evaluation, that the Python Bible is aimed at just a little "higher" audience than Core Python. I prefer Core Python because it is a bit easier reading, perhaps, than the Python Bible.

The Python Bible covers a lot of topics, some of which are not covered in
print elsewhere. I particularly appreciated its useful coverage of sound,
audio, and image manipulation. Others might be interested in its coverage
of Curses and NumPy. It gives adequate coverage to the core
language but excels with its selected but useful 'advanced' topics, and it is written
in a highly readable style.

The book's coverage of the core language is thorough enough though. It
does go into a little more detail than usual on working with strings, texts
and files, including a good section on regular expressions. The Internet
coverage is really in-depth and a there is a good chapter on XML.

There is broad coverage of Tkinter. There is also
a reasonable chapter on using wxPython, although it seems largely derivative
of what can be found on the web; it is still more wxPython coverage than that given by most such books. There is also, as I mentioned, good reading
about Curses, a Unix tool for displaying text on old style terminals. The
image processing includes some information on PIL, and there is a useful
description and explanation of Python's use of tracebacks.

There are chapters on Debugging, Profiling, and Optimization; security and encryption; and writing extension modules. On top of this, there is a large chapter on Embedding the Python Interpreter. This kind of coverage is more extensive than that found in most Python books of this genre.

It is also the kind of coverage that will appeal to a more advanced audience. A relative newbie like me might prefer Core Python; but your mileage may vary, and, if you are a power Pythonista, this book contains a lot broader coverage than Core Python.

Bottom line: This is a good book that I have not yet given adequate attention to. In fact, I am determined now to go back and re-read some of the higher level chapters of this book for my own edification. I encourage readers to compare this text with books like Core Python first hand, in the book store; read a small sample of each to see if you like the style; and checkout the coverage to see how well it fits your interests.

To avoid being too wishy washy and uncommital, I will say that I think Core Python might be a somewhat more approachable book for beginners, and yet the Python Bible may be preferred by advanced programmers for its broader coverage.