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book review python

Book Review: More Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner

One thing I always want to do is try and look at programming from a fresh pair of eyes. While I am certainly not an absolute beginner it is sometimes interesting to see how a development book tries to instill the core concepts of programming into the new reader. In More Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner by Jonathan S. Harbour the focus is to hit the ground running. The book focuses on the pygame module to create 13 small games/demos including: Pie Game, Trivia, Bomb Catcher, Analog Clock, Orbiting Spaceship, Escape the Dragon, Zombie Mob, Block Breaker, Oil Spill, Snake, Tank Battle, Artillery Gunner and Dungeon RPG.

Overall, the code is quite straightforward and well contained, although in a few places it seemed like a little extra engineering might go over a few people’s heads, but still produce more concrete code. The code examples actually get better with more classes and better encapsulation later on, and I suppose it can be a bit much to introduce everything to an “absolute beginner”. One thing that I thought was interesting was the workarounds necessary to deal with the pygames sprite rotations: “Pygame does not correctly adjust for the change in image size when a sprite is rotated”, the fix is to “shift the image by the amount of change in dimensions from the normal image to the rotated image” (pg 203, 205).

Overall, this is a pretty entertaining read, and gives some good quick examples of pygame. The book also links to the author’s forum where there is more information and updates: http://jharbour.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=f8s6pkk6tdvb47ullmqormult4&board=23.0

One of the most expansive topics was the Dungeon “RoguelikeRPG. For an example of that, see the link posted in the above forum at: http://roguebasin.roguelikedevelopment.org/index.php/Main_Page

It may be fun to experiment a bit more with pygame for some simple examples, but for now, I am focused far more on other python modules.

Until next time,
Michael Hubbard
https://michaelhubbard.ca

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