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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Initial draft of Tuples chapter

The latest chapter, Tuples, is now available for viewing. As usual, the formatting isn't done; I'm simply working on the information for right now.

The permalink is also available.

Monday, October 27, 2008

First draft of "Dictionaries" chapter

I have completed the initial draft of the chapter about Dictionaries. There is also a permalink in the left-hand column; you can use it to ensure you're looking at the most recent revision.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Revised chapter on Lists

You can find my latest revision of the Lists chapter at http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=d7n46wm_56ms3g8gcx.

I'm also adding permalinks to all of my Google Docs so you can always go to the latest revision as I updated them.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Revised the chapter on Strings

FYI, I just posted a revised version of the "Strings" chapter to Google Docs. The link is http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=d7n46wm_55cfvxh5dd.

Naturally this isn't the final format. I tried to format it for readability though.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Forthcoming Chapters

As a heads up, here is a current listing of the chapters that I expect to have in the book.

  1. Introduction
  2. How is Python Different?
  3. Comparison of Programming Languages
  4. The Python Interpreter
  5. Types and Operators
  6. Strings
  7. Lists
  8. Dictionaries
  9. Tuples
  10. Files
  11. Statements
  12. Documenting Your Code
  13. Making a Program
  14. Object-Oriented Programming
  15. More OOP
  16. Databases
  17. Distributing your Program
  18. Python 3
  19. GUI Programming
  20. Getting Started with GUIs
  21. A GUI Display
  22. What Can wxPython Do?

I'm noticing that some of these chapters seem to be quite short, so if there's anything you would like to make sure is included, please let me know.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Initial drafts of first 7 chapters

I'm slowly working on the chapters for the book. This post will contain links to the first few that I've already completed the rough drafts for. I currently have 7 chapters written.

Feel free to read each chapter and post comments on them. I want them to be understandable to non-programmers and veterans alike, so anything I can do to make them better is greatly appreciated.

Each link will take you to Google Docs, where I copied the chapters to for ease of viewing. If need be, I can assign "collaborator" status to people who wish to edit the chapters. Note: Google Docs is not how I will be publishing this book.

  1. Introduction
  2. How is Python Different?
  3. Comparison of Programming Languages
  4. The Python Interpreter
  5. Types and Operators
  6. Strings
  7. Lists

Sunday, October 12, 2008

2 Chapters Completed

I have finished 2 chapters now. I'm debating whether to post them or not. They won't really do much good if you're trying to learn but it would be good to get some feedback on them. However, I need to work on the rest of the tutorial conversion and write some new chapters, plus general editing, and I don't want to get sidetracked making serious editing in these 2 chapter right now.

So, if you're interested in seeing what I've written so far, post a comment and let me know. Otherwise I'll just keep writing and post everything up when the initial rough draft is complete.

Writing Software

Because I'm always curious what tools people use, I thought some readers might be interested in what I'm using to write this book.

Right now I'm using the editor Scrivener, for Mac. This is a great program with many tools that aid in the writing process. It includes things like a corkboard and index cards (for layout out your ideas and rearranging them as you go), an outliner (to help you develop the outline of your document), split screen, and many other ideas that can be invaluable when writing.

I was going to use Lyx with a Docbook template but it got to be a pain in the butt trying to get everything configured correctly. The Docbook template for Mac is only compatible with an older version of Lyx and I couldn't get the version for Linux to import my file correctly.

I figure I will write it in Scrivener then use MultiMarkdown to bring it into LaTeX or Lyx. From there I can export it to PDF, HTML, etc. in a print-ready format.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Welcome to the Start Programming with Python ebook

So you want to start programming? Good idea. It's a fun and challenging hobby or a valuable skill for future job prospects.

This site is the home of a new programming ebook: Start Programming with Python. This book is a work in progress. I have already written several tutorials on another web site and now I'm going to put them together in one book, plus some additional information I've picked up over the years.

I will post the initial rough draft once I've copied and edited the tutorials. I will essentially "open-source" the book and make revisions and additions based on feedback from the Internet community. Based on the response to the book, I will consider printing the book in dead-tree format.

For those interested right now, you can find my "old" tutorials at the following sites. There are multiple parts to each tutorial, so make sure to look for the whole series.

Beginning Python Tutorial (Part 1)

Developing GUIs with wxPython (Part 1)