"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
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!-)