I have been using Ruby and various .NET languages for a long-time but the coming flood of deep architecture changes coming to Ruby on Rails 3.0 has drawn my attention to other web frameworks such as Django and the Python language.
The attention everyone gives to Ruby on Rails has resulted in a wealth of Ruby and Ruby on Rails books to the point of becoming overwhelming. This is not the case with Python and Django, the number of books is a lot less.
Zed Shaw is one developer who made the transition from Ruby to Python and is putting out a learning Python book of his own titled Learn Python the Hard Way. The book is being made available on Zed’s web site and is free.
I really quickly wanted to get the word out about two books that are so far looking to be great beginner Python books.
- How To Think Like A Computer Scientist is actually used as the curriculum at a few universities in the US and maybe in other locations. Despite the title it is actually good introduction to the language and to programming.
- A Byte Of Python is also free and has been translated to [a huge number of languages](http://www.swaroopch.com/notes/Python_en:Translations and also seems to a good first book.
This is really interesting approach to writing a book; collaborative and open. There is a wiki set up to help facilitate the collaboration.
Python is a great language with rich history and wealth of good libraries. It’s used heavily all over the world and has deep community support, well worth a look and considering how good Django is for web applications. Who knows maybe worth a look instead of Ruby on Rails.