Discussion forum for David Beazley

Python Essential Reference, 5th Edition

Oh, Python 2 is very much going to be dead, as in not just pining for the Fjoords dead, in this edition. I’m already using things like f-strings in some of the first examples. I’m done with Python 2.

I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to approach the standard library section of the book just yet. There are probably going to be some major changes to how that is covered though.


I differentiate built-ins from the standard library because they don’t need an “import” and the lack of a dot when using them. That’s probably the wrong way to think about them, but it’s kinda wired into my fingers.

Listing the built-ins by topic would be helpful, but will probably seem arbitrary to you as you are making the topics. I actually like the current chapters for the standard library, although I think some can be combined into longer chapters on related topics.

Thanks. FYI, the first “essential reference” was the first and only Python book I’ve ever purchased. :slight_smile:

How’s work on the 5th edition going? Do you have an approximate ETA?


Waiting for it eagerly…!!

I am looking forward to have this book.
The previous 4th edition is great book which I still recommend to people who wants to quickly get familiar with python and python way.
It wood be great to have the 5th edition focused only on 3.6+ version of python. Probably with small remarks for 3.5 but it is not necessary (would not recomend).
Who wants python 2.6+ can read previous version which is awesome.
What to include:

  • more deep generator and coroutines
  • asyncio and all “weird” staff like aenter and so forth.
  • packages, namespaces

Is it possible for your 5th Edition to include a language feature summary at the end of each chapter? Like a cheat sheet of concepts covered in that chapter? Maybe if there are “too many” ideas in a given chapter, then put a cheat sheet in the middle covering half of what’s discussed. Stuff like that.
I like to use your book as much for a Pocket Reference as I do an Essential Reference, know what I mean? Maybe it depends on what your publisher allows :slight_smile:

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I’m so excited for the 5th edition!

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The fourth edition continues to be a valuable reference to me. For the fifth edition, please consider discussing typing.NamedTuple (e.g. defaults, specified values, guaranteed unique values, etc.) and enum.Enum (and its siblings IntEnum, IntFlag, and Flag). Perhaps these are sufficiently “essential” to be included?

Re-opening this thread: How is progress coming on the Fifth Edition? My earlier offer to read through the manuscript still stands!

Not much of an update to report at this time. Sorry.

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Hi,Dave,Still looking forward to your book,because I learnt so much from <python cookbook 3rd> and <python essentional reference 4th>,keep going!!!

So looking forward to the release of this book

I’m so looking forward to the idea of it actually being written ;-). Hmmm. Suffice to say, it’s a bit behind schedule. Maybe in late 2019 though.

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Just wanted to thank you for working to keep this fantastic work up to date. I have recommended it to many colleagues, and consider it the best way to go from “zero” to a competent, idiomatic Python developer. I eagerly anticipate your approach to explaining some of the new, advanced Python features, such as asyncio.

Despite being an asyncio user for a while, I still do not fully grasp it, if your book contained a complete chapter on asyncio with full details enough to master the topic, I will be very thankful :slight_smile:

I just realized that there is no index entry for string methods – neither on its own (“String Methods”) nor a subindex entry under Strings. The forth edition is not unique in this; the documentation on the python.org web site does not have an entry for this either. Please consider adding this small item(s) to improve the already fantastic index even further. Thanks!

Is there any update on the status of the book? I am very interested in learning Python thoroughly and I would love to use this book as a starting point.

The book is about 80% written and in review. Publication is not likely until later in 2020 however.

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Eagerly awaiting. I will pre-order a copy. :slight_smile: