A Byte of Python
Swaroop C H
Copyright Year: 2013
Publisher: Swaroop C H
Conditions of Use
The book is written for new first-time programmers on a language that has a huge library, so in its nature it could not be comprehensive. However, the basics are covered well, as was the intention of the author. read more
The book is written for new first-time programmers on a language that has a huge library, so in its nature it could not be comprehensive. However, the basics are covered well, as was the intention of the author.
This reviewer didn't see any errors in the text nor in the program examples. The content is accurate.
As with any computer language book, the changes are expected as the language develops. For now, the author was making the necessary changes from one edition to another. The basics will stay the same for at least few more years, since that part of the language will most likely not change.
The language structure, the principles, and the examples are well written and easily accessible. All the programming terms are well defined. However, the session on object oriented programming, maybe, could use a few more examples.
The text is consistent from chapter to chapter and within chapters. Definitions are provided and used consistently.
The chapters are well balanced. The book follows a story - from simple examples to more complicated and involved examples demonstrating various aspects of Python. It is not intended for readers to skip and/or mix chapters. Of course, experienced programmers could probably finish the book in a matter of hours, but then, this book is not written for them.
Definitely! Readers are gently introduced to the language syntax, procedural programming using functions, and then object oriented programming. At the end, a number of other, more involved, books and websites were provided.
The book is well presented. A small suggestion would be to have a couple diagrams showing the relationship between classes, sub-classes, objects, etc. Since I downloaded the whole book and printed it - I could not observe any computer-related interface issues.
There were no grammatical errors that I observed.
This book is not culturally insensitive or offensive. The book examples deal with groceries, universities, etc. which are culture-neutral.
I liked the book and most likely I will use it as a beginning of Python learning in class. However, since I am looking at IoT and mechatronics uses with Raspberry Pi, I will have to add some more material for that purpose. Once again, this is a well-written easy-to-read book with examples for Python 3 that I will likely adopt for my first robotics class.
This book, as stated in the Preface, "It is mainly targeted at newbies". Therefore, only basics of Python programming and its environment is explained. read more
This book, as stated in the Preface, "It is mainly targeted at newbies". Therefore, only basics of Python programming and its environment is explained.
Although I could not see an error, the statement "Just remember that Python treats everything as an object and this includes functions" on page 66 would be confusing, The objects are instances of a class that includes data fields (properties) and methods (functions).
The content is up-to-date. It would be good to add a note about more specific version (3.#) of the Python used. The book has some references that the reader can keep track updates.
In general, the language is clear. Some sections such as "Raw String", "VarArgs parameters", and "Lambda Forms" needs more clarification with some simple examples to make it easier to comprehend purpose and usage.
I could not see any inconsistency throughout the book.
The book follows traditional chapters and subsections for a programming language.
The flow of the book is smooth; the readers can navigate easily to comprehend the content.
The format is appropriately designed for smooth reading.
I did not see any textual or grammatical error.
The content is free of offensive language.
This books is intended for "newbies" who are familiar with an OOP language. Particularly, the reader would appreciate for the sections "How It Works" and "Note for C/C++ Programmers".
This book assumes the reader has no experience with Python and does a good job writing to that assumed audience. There are a few places where it may benefit the reader if it was more comprehensive. For example, there is a list of operators and... read more
This book assumes the reader has no experience with Python and does a good job writing to that assumed audience. There are a few places where it may benefit the reader if it was more comprehensive. For example, there is a list of operators and the list includes bit-wise AND, yet there is no explanation of what that operator is or does, even though most of the operators have an explanation and example (but not all).
The content was accurate and I did not notice any errors. There were a few characters that did not show up correctly, but I attribute that to download errors. There were a few broken links, but each link has detailed information which can be easily searched on the internet.
The content is very relevant and the examples will not make the text obsolete. The author does a good job of mentioning how the syntax/vocabulary has changed from one version to the next or how it compares to other programming languages.
The author is very clear, with simple language that is to the point. At times, it is almost too simple. For example, the section on while-loops doesn't mention sentinel values. The author absolutely does a good job of introducing the concept, explaining the control flow, and providing an example, but doesn't mention sentinel values. This level of writing gives the very basic foundation.
The book is very consistent. The author consistently presents a narrative about a concept, sample code, the output, and then breaks down the code and output. The format is laid out nicely and is consistent throughout the entire book.
This book is not overly self-referential. There are several places where the author provides a link to a later chapter or mentions that more about a concept will be discussed later, but it does not disrupt the reading.
The organization is typical of a programming language book. I think the book can benefit from either subheadings in the table of contents, a glossary, or an index. Digital books are so easily searchable, that an index or glossary is almost obsolete, but that assumes you know what to search for. Given how this was written for a beginner, I think the user would benefit from at least one of the above.
There is no problem with the interface in the PDF version. I did not look at the online version. I would have appreciated page numbers in the table of contents for the PDF version, but the headings in the table of contents are links, so it's easy to navigate the interface.
I did not notice a single grammatical error.
This book is designed for a beginner from any cultural background. The one and only example that I noticed was using the term "marks" when referring to a student's grade. As an american, we don't use that term, but it is in no way offensive, nor does it detract from the example. The author does a great job of using neutral language to teach a topic that can be overwhelming to a beginner.
This is a great book for a resource, but I'm not sure it's a good textbook, in the traditional sense. Meaning, if you are accustomed to a textbook that lays out the concepts and then gives several problems to work on, you will not receive those traditional problems. This is not a criticism. It just depends on your need. There are a few "homework" problems, but there are no solutions. On another note, the author gives links to several problems/challenges/projects that are readily available on the internet. Overall, I think this is an excellent book for a beginner.
The book has a detailed explanation of how to download and install Python, and how to write and run code in the development environment. This is valuable for people who are new to programming. There is not any actual Python code until twenty pages... read more
The book has a detailed explanation of how to download and install Python, and how to write and run code in the development environment. This is valuable for people who are new to programming. There is not any actual Python code until twenty pages into the book. It would be a good reference for those who are just learning to program, or if they need a concept explained in a new way. The comprehensiveness is enough for a beginner. It delves into many concepts, but does not cover them in a lot of depth. For example, there are four data structures in Python: lists, tuples, dictionaries, and sets. Each of them is covered in about two pages, including code examples. An additional half-page looked at objects and classes and how they relate to lists. There are three control flow statements in Python - if , for and while. They are the backbone of many programs. Those are initially covered in only five pages total. There are five pages of good resources and links near the end. There is not an index or a glossary.
The book is accurate for Python 3, the mostly commonly used version today. I did not find any errors in the code.
The text and example code are timeless and will not become obsolete. The topics could easily be expanded with more examples and explanation. There are several pages of resources at the end. However, some of these links are no longer active. For example, the link to Python Module of the Week goes to python.org instead of pymotw.com.
The book is relatively easy to read. The text is written for beginning programmers. It defines new terms as soon they are used. The author mentions the Python Standard Library, then admits that the reader may need to return to that when they are more experienced.
The text is consistent. The program examples are formatted the same throughout. The format is usually like this: a new topic is introduced, example code shows how it works, then the code is explained. It is not easy to make a programming language easy to understand, but the author does this well.
The Table of Contents breaks down the material. The sections could easily be incorporated into a course. There are a few places where the reader is given a link to jump ahead for more info before returning to the current topic. It would be nice if the Table of Contents had links to the subheadings.
Most programming texts follow a similar path. Data types, variables, and indentation are all in the Basics section. From there, it moves on to Operators and Expressions, then Control Flow, then Functions. The section on object-oriented programming starts about two-thirds of the way through. This is a more advanced concept for beginners.
The text is clear, and the program examples are readily visible. At the beginning, there are six pages of reader comments in light gray text. The lack of contrast makes this section more difficult to read.
I did not find any grammatical errors.
The book does not refer to any race, ethnicity or background. Volunteers have translated the book into more than twenty languages.
A copy of the book can be purchased for $29.
There are not a lot of 'Python' textbooks that are designed for beginner programmers. "A Byte of Python' is an easy book to follow in learning how to program using Python. This book is very simple to understand and makes it very simple to develop... read more
There are not a lot of 'Python' textbooks that are designed for beginner programmers. "A Byte of Python' is an easy book to follow in learning how to program using Python. This book is very simple to understand and makes it very simple to develop simple programs. It is an excellent book/reference for teaching beginner coding in K-12 or higher-ed. Minor problem that can be easily fixed: the Table of contents page numbering is off and an index was not present.
The content contained in "A Byte of Python" is accurate and sectioned out for ease of accessibility.
Programming instructions or coding instructions (programming language) just does not change frequently like some disciplines such as "American Government". "A Byte of Python" is written such that the content is current and with a usefulness for quite some time. Any future updates to the textbook can be easily grafted/merged in with very little effort and without distorting the topics within each chapter. It is hoped that the next version will consist of an index and a corrected Table of contents.
The author put in a lot of effort to keep the contents of the textbook simple and very clear to understand. Step-by-step processes along with many examples were used to ensure clarity.
This textbook is consistent in terms of terminology and framework. In looking at other textbooks written for programming with Python, the basic language terminology is the same. There may be some variations in the particular editors that can be used but the meaning, usage, and design are the same. Students can start learning from this textbook, and in no time will be able to better interpret a more complicated written textbook.
This textbook is sectioned out using chapters. The text is varied in that titles are large and sub-titles and paragraph headers are sized appropriately making it easy to recognize the division in each chapter. The major points of each topic, of each chapter, is broken out into chunks making it very easy for students to understand. When students have the need to refer back to a particular point, they can readily do so by referring to the headings and sub-headings. Note: an index added to the textbook would increase to functionality of the book in regards to ease of use and accessibility.
Here is where the correct 'Table of Contents" is helpful. The author of this textbook presented the chapter topics in an organized and logical flow. A small print problem was encountered. The section/chapter on 'Problem Solving' downloaded with a font size of 12 instead of the title size. Maybe just another download bug. Additionally, the summary in the chapter entitled "Basics" implies that the next chapter to be discussed is dealing with 'control flow' but in actuality the next chapter focuses on 'Operators and Expressions'. This should be changed to eliminate any possible confusion regarding expectation.
Regarding the interface there were no significant or observed interface issues. The couple of text translation errors was very minimum. All text, images, and charts were easy to read and identify without distraction or confusion to the reader. There were no accessibility problems.
In reading through the textbook there were no grammatical errors found. However, please be aware that sometimes in downloading the textbook, symbols can get easily change. So, for example, if you see a "?" where a "," should be in a word like "don't", that is a just download error. That happens.
The textbook is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. From an instructor's perspective I am mainly looking for ease of use and understanding for different learning styles. The way the book is written I see no problem with my students grasping the intended concept of learning 'Python'. However, the name is one that would make some persons distant themselves in the beginning.
Very good textbook that I will be using.
Table of Contents
- First Steps
- Operators and Expressions
- Control flow
- Data Structures
- Problem Solving
- Object Oriented Programming
- Input and Output
- Standard Library
About the Book
"A Byte of Python" is a free book on programming using the Python language. It serves as a tutorial or guide to the Python language for a beginner audience. If all you know about computers is how to save text files, then this is the book for you.
About the Contributors
Swaroop C H