FAQ
I recently became interested in learning Python and just ordered
"Learning Python", "Python Pocket Reference" - O'Reilly, and "Python
Essential Reference" - New Riders.
Now I've learned that with Python 2.0 release, a lot of changes are
going to be made to the language. So I'm wandering, should I return
those books and wait for something more up to date and just stick to
online tutorials and references, or are they still relevant to the 2.0
release? I also read that with the future 3.0 release, its going to
change so much that it will basicaly be a new language (true or not?).
So I am confused about the books.



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"...Righteousness exalted the nations
The righteouness cannot be forgotten
and the glory cannot be blocken out..."

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  • Remco Gerlich at Sep 12, 2000 at 12:14 am

    Sergo wrote in comp.lang.python:
    I recently became interested in learning Python and just ordered
    "Learning Python", "Python Pocket Reference" - O'Reilly, and "Python
    Essential Reference" - New Riders.
    Now I've learned that with Python 2.0 release, a lot of changes are
    going to be made to the language. So I'm wandering, should I return
    those books and wait for something more up to date and just stick to
    online tutorials and references, or are they still relevant to the 2.0
    release?
    There are some new features, but not "a lot". Python 2 is still perfectly
    usable after learning it from those books, and then you can just lookup
    the new features. Unicode, augmented assignment, list comprehensions -
    they're nice extras, but not essential for learning the language.
    I also read that with the future 3.0 release, its going to
    change so much that it will basicaly be a new language (true or not?).
    Nobody knows. It's a mythical future project, like "the cool things we could
    do if we didn't care about backwards portability". It will be made sometime,
    but the new language will probably be very much like Python, and it's a few
    years away, at least...

    --
    Remco Gerlich, scarblac at pino.selwerd.nl
    Hi! I'm a .sig virus! Join the fun and copy me into yours!
  • Gilles Lenfant at Sep 12, 2000 at 12:24 am
    And with Python 4.0, just stay facing your screen and think broadly to what
    you need and it will work ;o)
    If you start, do like me (I was a full newbie 5 weeks ago) and use the
    latest stable release (1.6). What you'll learn with it and your books will
    not be lost.
    Has someone heard of the 3.0 ?


    "Sergo" <badman718 at yahoo.com> a ?crit dans le message news:
    uI87MbEHAHA.322 at cpmsnbbsa09...
    I recently became interested in learning Python and just ordered
    "Learning Python", "Python Pocket Reference" - O'Reilly, and "Python
    Essential Reference" - New Riders.
    Now I've learned that with Python 2.0 release, a lot of changes are
    going to be made to the language. So I'm wandering, should I return
    those books and wait for something more up to date and just stick to
    online tutorials and references, or are they still relevant to the 2.0
    release? I also read that with the future 3.0 release, its going to
    change so much that it will basicaly be a new language (true or not?).
    So I am confused about the books.



    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    "...Righteousness exalted the nations
    The righteouness cannot be forgotten
    and the glory cannot be blocken out..."
  • Alex Martelli at Sep 12, 2000 at 7:20 am
    "Sergo" <badman718 at yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:uI87MbEHAHA.322 at cpmsnbbsa09...
    I recently became interested in learning Python and just ordered
    "Learning Python", "Python Pocket Reference" - O'Reilly, and "Python
    Essential Reference" - New Riders.
    Good choices (if your eyesight is good enough for the "Essential
    Reference"'s smallish typeface).

    Now I've learned that with Python 2.0 release, a lot of changes are
    going to be made to the language. So I'm wandering, should I return
    those books and wait for something more up to date and just stick to
    online tutorials and references, or are they still relevant to the 2.0
    They're quite relevant. Everything you learn from them will remain
    true, except that maybe a few times they may say "you can't do that"
    while actually in 2.0 you can. Python is a very stable language,
    having a long history behind it: it just doesn't undergo earthquakes
    from one version to the next -- it evolves slowly, smoothly, and
    quite incrementally.

    About the 1.5.2 -> 2.0 transition specifically, I doubt that a newbie
    will see the improvements as particularly crucial to him, with one
    major exception -- the distutils, that make it deliciously easy for
    you to install extensions if the author has used distutils to package
    them; that will be very relevant once a lot of distutils-packaged stuff
    begins to be out there. But it doesn't invalidate anything you learn
    on the books you've ordered -- just makes your life easier later on.

    Similarly for the other enhancements -- XML support, Unicode, new
    syntax for augmented-assignment, list-comprehension, and (yecch!)
    print-to-file. Once you've got the basic language stuff under your
    belt, some of these may be very important to you, if your work a lot
    in those niches (XML is rather a large and growing "niche":-), but,
    again, nothing you learn now on these books should break anyway.

    release? I also read that with the future 3.0 release, its going to
    change so much that it will basicaly be a new language (true or not?).
    So I am confused about the books.
    There is a dream out there for a future "Python 3000" that will be
    a completely new language, but it ain't gonna happen anytime soon,
    so, don't worry!-)


    Alex

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