26 Mar 2009, 10:45
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Sieng Chye (1 post)

Hi all,

Any opinion if the book is suitable for a newbie to programming to learn the fundamentals and python language at the same time? Thank you for any comments.

08 Apr 2009, 12:44
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Paul Gries (44 posts)

I’m one of the authors; I’ve been using drafts of this text in the introductory course here at the University of Toronto, and it was written to teach people the fundamentals of programming.

I don’t know of anyone using it to learn programming on their own, but our hope is that it’s a reasonable thing to do! If you do decide to try it, would you please let us know how it goes?

Thanks, Paul

29 Sep 2009, 23:39
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Dave Boyer (1 post)

Im trying to use it to self teach, and its going ok so far, but when I try to follow the book on importing (pages 41-47), I get a huge error statement. Traceback (most recent call last): File “<pyshell#5>”, line 1, in import experiment File "C:\Python25\experiment.py", line 1 Python 2.5.4 (r254:67916, Dec 23 2008, 15:10:54) [MSC v.1310 32 bit (Intel)] on win32

Is this due to me being on a 64 bit system or is there something else going on?

27 Oct 2009, 16:46
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James Pyles (8 posts)

I’m using it for self-teaching and it’s probably better than most other books that teach programming. That said, it would be easier to use in a classroom situation as I could probably get past my “newbie” mistakes and misunderstandings faster if I could just ask someone what I’m doing wrong. Made it to the middle of Chapter 8 so far.

17 Feb 2012, 05:14
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servic1111 (1 post)

Hi, i’m new in WiBit and new to using C++ compiler, but i have a background in C.There’s a problem when i was trying to the Lab 2 video from the Introduction where after saving HeyBuddy.cpp in notepad++, then i tried this: (the filename was test1.cpp) “ g++ test1.cpp -o test.exe “ an error occured saying ‘g++’ is not recognized…i’ve installed mingw-get-instl-20110802.exe and notepad++ 5.9.5 so how do i fix this? asistencia domiciliaria Most people walk in and out of your life, but only FRIENDS leave footprints in your heart

07 Mar 2012, 17:31
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Jason Barrett (4 posts)

My name is Jason and I am a Newbie at programming LOL. I just received this book and on page 4 it instructs me to download code. I have a macbook pro laptop. Will there be any compatibility issues going forward?

08 May 2012, 19:24
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Jennifer Campbell (9 posts)

Jason, the software is compatible with Mac OS X. Good luck!

14 May 2012, 00:30
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Jay Palmer (2 posts)

Sieng - I’ve programmed before but it has been a few years and I’m getting up to speed again. I purchased “Learn to Program” for Ruby and this book. Of the two books I would say “Learn to Program” is a much better book to learn on your own. I find “Practical Programming” an okay book that seems to be much better suited for classroom instructions. The reason being is Learn to Program is very systematic in it’s approach and presents material in a gentle way with each chapter building on the next and all the answer keys for the exercises are provided. In my opinion I have found “Practical Programming” to be full of tiny little errors and incomplete thoughts that could cause a newbie much confusion without the help of a professor. More than once exercises are given with methods and functions that haven’t been covered yet and are in chapters down the road. Practical Programming seems to be a collection of college lectures that still aren’t flushed out for the self-learning but need the support of an instructor to fill in the gaps and missing explanations. I’d recommend “Learn to Program” over this book any day for a newbie. But that’s just my opinion.

05 Jun 2012, 14:31
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Jason Barrett (4 posts)

I’m in chapter 2 and it says that when I divide using a negative sign on one of the operands that it uses the “floor” of the result. What does that mean? It’s not explained anywhere in this book. Should I get a more elementary programming book that defines basic terms like this?

23 Jun 2012, 14:43
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Ivan Winters (3 posts)

I am also a newbie but I have three comments :

  1. ‘Jason’ ‘floor’ is explained on Page 11.
  2. Also on Page 11 we are told that division in Py 3 is different from previous versions. The book uses ‘classic’ behaviour in it’s examples as ‘Python 3.0 is currently less widely used’ This means the book is not ‘futureproof’ as more and more of us are now downloading Python 3.0 or later versions and find the division examples out of date. (I am using Py 3.1)
  3. Most serious of all I had registered on here expecting that there would be an archive of answers to exercises so I could get some feedback (I am home learning not attending a CS course - anyway I live in the UK where CS, programming and other IT related subjects are taught abysmally at universities !)
29 Sep 2012, 02:42
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Janice Best (1 post)

Ivan, you are in luck! (Unless you’ve gotten through the book and are comfortable with it!)

Two of the authors of this book, Campbell and Gries, have just started a Python class on Coursera.org, which offers free classes online to anyone who wants to sign up. You don’t get college credit, but you get a certificate if you do well enough.

Here is the link to the course: https://class.coursera.org/programming1-2012-001/class/index

Check out it and others. Lots of good stuff. I’m taking this course and am signed up for a few others.

05 Dec 2012, 18:29
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Paul Gries (44 posts)

Ivan, I know it’s several months late for a reply, but the source code is available here:

http://pragprog.com/book/gwpy/practical-programming

Also, if you click on the “Details” tab, at the bottom is a link to solutions to even-numbered exercises.

24 Jan 2013, 05:31
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GW Xu (3 posts)

One thing I really don’t like about this book is that it presents the general form of an expression in a very confusing and hard-to-read fashion.

Here’s an example from page 72:

The general form of a for loop is as follows: for variable in list</code:bold: block Can you read that? How confusing to read and comprehend this general form. I feel puzzled why the authors presents it like that. For this reason, I even consider to abandon this book on my reading list.

Zelle’s book Python Programming expresses the same form: A Python for loop has this general form. for in :

How clear it is!

24 Jan 2013, 05:35
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GW Xu (3 posts)

One thing I don’t like about this book is that it presents the general form of an expression in a hard-to-read fashion. Here’s an example from page 72:

The general form of a for loop is as follows: for variable in list </code:bold: block Can you read that? I feel puzzled why did the authors presents it like that. For this reason, I even consider to abandon this book on my reading list.

Zelle’s book Python Programming expresses the same form: A Python for loop has this general form. for in : <body> How clear it is!

24 Jan 2013, 05:37
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GW Xu (3 posts)

One thing I don’t like about this book is that it presents the general form of an expression in a hard-to-read fashion. Here’s an example from page 72:

The general form of a for loop is as follows: for variable in list </code:bold: block Can you read that? I feel puzzled why did the authors presents it like that. For this reason, I even consider to abandon this book on my reading list.

Zelle’s book Python Programming expresses the same form: A Python for loop has this general form. for in : <body> How clear it is!

25 Jan 2013, 01:01
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Paul Gries (44 posts)

GW, we didn’t write it like that – that’s formatting code that shouldn’t be there. We’re currently tracking down what happened; we expected this:

for variable in list: block

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