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Part II: The Outer Layers

Part II: The Outer Layers

In Part I we covered the core of the Python language. With this knowledge, you should be able to read almost all Python code written, with few language-related surprises. However, as anyone who's ever looked at existing programs knows, understanding the syntax of a language doesn't guarantee a clear and easy understanding of a program, even if it is well written. Indeed, knowing which tools are being used, be they simple functions, coherent packages, or even complex frameworks, is the important step between a theoretical understanding of a language and a practical, effective mastery of a system.

How can you make this transition? No amount of reading of woodworking magazines is going to turn a novice into a master woodworker. For that to happen, you have to have talent, of course, but also spend years examining furniture, taking furniture apart, building new pieces, learning from your mistakes and others' successes. The same is true in programming. The role of textbooks is to give a bird's eye view of the kinds of problems and appropriate solutions, to show some of the basic tricks of the trade, and, finally, to motivate the frustrated beginner by showing some of the nicer pieces of work others have built. This section presents a different view of the Python landscape in each chapter and each gives plentiful pointers to other sources of information.



  

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