I first started with Python when I needed to write an installer for software I had written called 'Diamond' so that I could make the installation easy. I had to choose between Python and Perl bindings for the Qt library. I did some research on the web and I came across an article by Eric S. Raymond, a famous and respected hacker, where he talked about how Python had become his favorite programming language. I also found out that the PyQt bindings were more mature compared to Perl-Qt. So, I decided that Python was the language for me.
Then, I started searching for a good book on Python. I couldn't find any! I did find some O'Reilly books but they were either too expensive or were more like a reference manual than a guide. So, I settled for the documentation that came with Python. However, it was too brief and small. It did give a good idea about Python but was not complete. I managed with it since I had previous programming experience, but it was unsuitable for newbies.
About six months after my first brush with Python, I installed the (then) latest Red Hat 9.0 Linux and I was playing around with KWord. I got excited about it and suddenly got the idea of writing some stuff on Python. I started writing a few pages but it quickly became 30 pages long. Then, I became serious about making it more useful in a book form. After a lot of rewrites, it has reached a stage where it has become a useful guide to learning the Python language. I consider this book to be my contribution and tribute to the open source community.
This book started out as my personal notes on Python and I still consider it in the same way, although I've taken a lot of effort to make it more palatable to others :)
In the true spirit of open source, I have received lots of constructive suggestions, criticisms and feedback from enthusiastic readers which has helped me improve this book a lot.
The book needs the help of its readers such as yourselves to point out any parts of the book which are not good, not comprehensible or are simply wrong. Please write to the main author or the respective translators with your comments and suggestions.
03 Aug 2013
Rewritten using Markdown and Jason Blevins' Markdown Mode
20 Oct 2012
Rewritten in Pandoc format, thanks to my wife who did most of the conversion from the Mediawiki format
Simplifying text, removing non-essential sections such as
nonlocal and metaclasses
04 Sep 2008 and still in progress
Revival after a gap of 3.5 years!
Rewriting for Python 3.0
Rewrite using http://www.mediawiki.org[MediaWiki] (again)
28 Mar 2004
16 Mar 2004
Additions and corrections
09 Mar 2004
More typo corrections, thanks to many enthusiastic and helpful readers.
08 Mar 2004
After tremendous feedback and suggestions from readers, I have made significant revisions to the content along with typo corrections.
22 Feb 2004
Added a new chapter on modules. Added details about variable number of arguments in functions.
16 Feb 2004
Wrote a Python script and CSS stylesheet to improve XHTML output, including a crude-yet-functional lexical analyzer for automatic VIM-like syntax highlighting of the program listings.
13 Feb 2004
Another completely rewritten draft, in DocBook XML (again). Book has improved a lot - it is more coherent and readable.
25 Jan 2004
Added IDLE talk and more Windows-specific stuff
05 Jan 2004
Changes to few examples.
30 Dec 2003
Corrected typos. Improvised many topics.
18 Dec 2003
Added 2 more chapters. OpenOffice format with revisions.
21 Nov 2003
Fully rewritten and expanded.
20 Nov 2003
Corrected some typos and errors.
20 Nov 2003
Converted to DocBook XML with XEmacs.
14 Nov 2003
Initial draft using KWord.