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Programming Python, Second Edition by Mark Lutz

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Postscript to the Second Edition

One of the luxuries of updating a book like this is that you get an opportunity to debate yourself, or at least your opinions, from years past. With the benefit of five years’ retrospect, I’d like to add a few comments to the original conclusion.

Integration Isn’t Everything

The conclusion for this book’s first edition stressed the importance of Python’s role as an integration tool. Although the themes underscored there are still valid, I should point out that not all Python applications rely explicitly on the ability to be mixed with components written in other languages. Many developers now use Python in standalone mode, either not having or not noticing integration layers.

For instance, developers who code CGI Internet scripts with Python often code in pure Python. Somewhere down the call chain, C libraries are called (to access sockets, databases, and so on), but Python coders often don’t need to care. In fact, this has proven to be true in my own recent experience as well. While working on the new GUI, system, and Internet examples for this edition, I worked purely in Python for long periods of time. A few months later I also worked on a Python/C++ integration framework, but this integration project was entirely separate from the pure Python book examples programming effort. Many projects are implemented in Python alone.

That is not to say that Python’s integration potential is not one of its most profound attributes -- indeed, most Python systems ...

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