The Python Master
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The Python Master

About the Book

The Python Master is the culmination of our trilogy covering the core Python language. The material in these books is derived from Sixty North's popular and battle-tested training courses which have led thousands of programmers on a journey to being productive with Python.

Our books, which use Python 3, follow a spiral curriculum: We introduce topics gently and then revisit them on multiple occasions to add the depth required to support your progression as a Python developer.  We've worked hard to structure the syllabus to avoid forward references. On only a few occasions do we require you to accept techniques on trust, before explaining them later; where we do, it's to deliberately establish good habits.

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About the Authors

Robert Smallshire
Robert Smallshire

Robert Smallshire is a founding director of Sixty North, a software consulting and training business in Norway providing services throughout Europe, and which uses Python extensively. Robert has worked in senior architecture and technical management roles for several software companies providing tools in the energy sector. He has dealt with understanding, designing, advocating and implementing effective architectures for sophisticated scientific and enterprise software in Python, C++, C# and F# and Javascript. Robert is a regular speaker at conferences, meetups and corporate software events and can be found speaking about topics as diverse as behavioural microeconomics in software development to implementing web services on 8-bit microcontrollers. He is organiser of the Oslo Python group and holds a Ph.D. in a natural science.

Austin Bingham
Austin Bingham

Austin is a founding director of Sixty North, a software consulting, training, and application development company. A native of Texas, in 2008 Austin moved to Stavanger, Norway where he helped develop industry-leading oil reservoir modeling software in C++ and Python. Prior to that he worked at National Instruments developing LabVIEW, at Applied Research Labs (Univ. of Texas at Austin) developing sonar systems for the U.S. Navy, and at a number of telecommunications companies. He is an experienced presenter and teacher, having spoken at numerous conferences, software groups, and internal corporate venues. Austin is also an active member of the open source community, contributing regularly to various Python and Emacs projects, and he’s the founder of Stavanger Software Developers, one of the largest and most active social software groups in Stavanger. Austin holds a Master of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Sixty North
Sixty North

Sixty North AS. Software Consulting and Training.

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Table of Contents

  • Preface
    • Errata and Suggestions
    • Conventions Used in This Book
  • Welcome!
  • Prerequisites
    • A functioning Python 3.5+ runtime
    • Experience with concepts from the previous books
  • The Road Goes On Forever
  • Chapter 1 - Advanced Flow Control
    • else clauses on loops
    • An alternative to loop else clauses
    • The try..except..else construct
    • Emulating switch
    • Dispatching on Type
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2 - Byte Oriented Programming
    • Bitwise operators
    • The bytes type in depth
    • The mutable bytearray sequence
    • Interpreting byte streams with the struct module
    • Memory Views
    • Memory-mapped files
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3 - Object Internals and Custom Attributes
    • How are Python objects stored?
    • Using vars() to access __dict__
    • Overriding __getattribute__()
    • Special methods which bypass __getattribute__()
    • Where are the methods?
    • Slots
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4 - Descriptors
    • A review of properties
    • Unravelling the property function
    • Implementing a descriptor
    • Retrieving descriptors on classes
    • Data versus non-data descriptors
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5 - Instance Creation
    • Instance Creation
    • Customising allocation
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6 - Metaclasses
    • The class of class objects
    • Class allocation and initialisation
    • Passing additional arguments to the metaclass
    • Metaclass methods and visibility
    • Fine-grained instantiation control with metaclass __call__()
    • Practical metaclass examples
    • Metaclasses and Inheritance
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7 - Class decorators
    • A first class decorator
    • Enforcing constraints with a class decorator
    • Enforcing constraints for properties
    • Chaining class decorators
    • Summary
  • Chapter 8 - Abstract Base Classes
    • What is an abstract base-class?
    • Why are abstract base-classes useful?
    • What about duck typing?
    • Abstract base-classes in Python
    • Defining subclasses with __subclasscheck__()
    • Non-transitivity of subclass relationships
    • Method resolution and virtual base-classes
    • Library support for abstract base-classes
    • Combining abstractmethod with other decorators
    • Propagating abstractness through descriptors
    • Fixing our @invariant class decorator with ABCs
    • Summary
  • Afterword: Continue the journey
  • Notes

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