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Python reflects a number of growing trends in software development, putting it at or near the leading edge of good programming languages. It is a very simple language surrounded by a vast library of add-on modules. It is an open source project, supported by many individuals. It is an object-oriented language, binding data and processing into class definitions. It is a platform-independent, scripted language, with complete access to operating system API's. It supports integration of complex solutions from pre-built components. It is a dynamic language, which avoids many of the complexities and overheads of compiled languages.
This book is a complete presentation of the Python language. It is oriented toward learning, which involves accumulating many closely intertwined concepts. In our experience teaching, coaching and doing programming, there is an upper limit on the "clue absorption rate". In order to keep within this limit, we've found that it helps to present a language as ever-expanding layers. We'll lead you from a very tiny, easy to understand subset of statements to the entire Python language and all of the built-in data structures. We've also found that doing a number of exercises helps internalize each language concept.
Professional programmers who need to learn Python are our primary audience. We provide specific help for you in a number of ways.
Instructors are a secondary audience. If you are looking for classroom projects that are engaging, comprehensible, and focus on perfecting language skills, this book can help. Each chapter in this book contains exercises that help students master the concepts presented in the chapter.
This book assumes a basic level of skill with any of the commonly-available computer systems.