Head First Python, 2nd Edition by Paul Barry
I happened to spot this book at my local library, and I wanted to give it a try. I have some background with Python already, but not a whole lot. HEAD FIRST PYTHON marks my first read of any "Head First" book.
From personal experience, I know that writing any type of computer programming book is a difficult chore. I found this book easy to read. If you have a lot of Python experience already, you will want to skip to some of the later chapters. The fun graphics and jokes make the learning experience go a little faster and easier, which I appreciated.
You can see the simple first example below.
I downloaded the code examples so that I would not have to type in a bunch of code. The code was indeed on the web sites listed. The code is stored via chapter, which made finding the examples easy. I was able to download the .zip file, and pick out any example I wanted to try.
The author recommends typing in the actual code, but I took the lazy method, and just used the provided code.
In one of the earlier chapters, the author explains how to import libraries, and perform simple functions. At that point, I realized I had an older version of Python on my PC. It was simple to install the latest version.
I especially like the way the author helped me get started with downloading Python 3, and getting an easy example going right away. This all worked very well, without a hitch.
The chapter on integrating Python with database work was especially interesting to me. Chapter 7 covers the installation of a MySQL server, then using the Python DB-API to talk to the database. I thought at first I could just jump to that chapter, but realistically, I will have to work through the earlier examples first. So far, so good!
So all in all, I found HEAD FIRST PYTHON to be an excellent book. It is a tough job writing a computer language book, with all the code and explanations. I thought Paul Barry did an excellent job, making this a very readable book--and yes, a little fun, too. Perhaps I could have done with a little less graphics and photos, but I appreciate the editors making the book a fun read.