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Python Essential Reference, 4th Edition

By David Beazley

Published by Addison-Wesley Professional

Published Date: Jul 9, 2009


Python Essential Reference is the definitive reference guide to the Python programming language — the one authoritative handbook that reliably untangles and explains both the core Python language and the most essential parts of the Python library.

Designed for the professional programmer, the book is concise, to the point, and highly accessible. It also includes detailed information on the Python library and many advanced subjects that is not available in either the official Python documentation or any other single reference source.


Thoroughly updated to reflect the significant new programming language features and library modules that have been introduced in Python 2.6 and Python 3, the fourth edition of Python Essential Reference is the definitive guide for programmers who need to modernize existing Python code or who are planning an eventual migration to Python 3. Programmers starting a new Python project will find detailed coverage of contemporary Python programming idioms.


This fourth edition of Python Essential Reference features numerous improvements, additions, and updates:

  • Coverage of new language features, libraries, and modules
  • Practical coverage of Python's more advanced features including generators, coroutines, closures, metaclasses, and decorators
  • Expanded coverage of library modules related to concurrent programming including threads, subprocesses, and the new multiprocessing module
  • Up-to-the-minute coverage of how to use Python 2.6’s forward compatibility mode to evaluate code for Python 3 compatibility
  • Improved organization for even faster answers and better usability
  • Updates to reflect modern Python programming style and idioms
  • Updated and improved example code
  • Deep coverage of low-level system and networking library modules — including options not covered in the standard documentation

Table of Contents

Part I: The Python Language

 1   A Tutorial Introduction

 2   Lexical Conventions and Syntax

 3   Types and Objects

 4   Operators and Expressions

 5   Program Structure and Control Flow

 6   Functions and Functional Programming

 7   Classes and Object-Oriented Programming

 8   Modules, Packages, and Distribution

 9   Input and Output

10  Execution Environment

11  Testing, Debugging, Profiling, and Tuning

Part II: The Python Library

12  Built-In Functions

13  Python Runtime Services

14  Mathematics

15  Data Structures, Algorithms, and Utilities

16  String and Text Handling

17  Python Database API

18  File Handling

19  Operating System Services

20  Threads and Concurrency

21  Network Programming and Sockets

22  Internet Application Programming

23  Web Programming

24  Internet Data Handling and Encoding

25  Miscellaneous Library Modules

Part III: Extending and Embedding

26  Extending and Embedding Python


 A   Python 3


Python Essential Reference, 4th Edition

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