Python Programming on Win32

Python Programming on Win32, Mark Hammond and Andy Robinson, O'Reilly, 2000, 652 pages.

This is a great book written by the authority in the field, Mark Hammond. It is orthogonal to all of the other Python books out there, in that it doesn't waste much time going over the same old basics, but rather gives in-depth coverage of Windows related subjects. It is a quality book on quality paper from a quality guy. At $35, this book is a bargain for anyone using Python on Windows.

While I am not a heavy user of the kinds of topics covered in this book (it is an advanced book), I can see where many, many folks will be. As a hobbyist, I am interested in other things, but this book is focused squarely on productivity tools and their optimization, topics that will warm the cockles of any corporate or entrepreneurial person looking to get more work done more efficiently, with less hassle.

The book uses a financial modeling metaphor for one of its major sample programs to illustrate its points. Again, while I am not particularly interested in this area at this time, your mileage may vary.

The book really shines when it goes into depth on Python's integration with and use of Microsoft tools, such as COM, VB, and Excel. You will not find more well written detail on these subjects anywhere.

There are detailed sections on databases, active scripting, and extending and embedding with Visual C++ and Delphi. There is also a really detailed study on using Python to work with networking and the Internet in Windows. I suspect that the low level socket coverage is the best you will find anywhere, although I am not technically qualified to make that judgement. Even with the handicap of my low level of knowledge and background in networking, I found this part of the book to be highly educational.

This book is a recommended buy, especially if you want to go into detail on advanced Windows and Python topics.