A worthwhile tome of knowledge, Python Developer’s Handbook by Andre Lessa is a good introduction to Python in all forms. While it does not deal with Python 3.X it still gives quite a lot of examples about how complete python is as a language, and how useful it is for tools. As one of the big three languages used by Google, one of the most popular languages in academia, API implementations for some of the big 3D tools (Maya, Blender, Fusion, etc.) and one of the most talked about languages in the world http://langpop.com/ Python is likely going to be around for a while.
For those that don’t know, Python is also named after Monty Python (the greatest sketch comedy show and some of my favorite movies of all time), and throughout the book (as is Python tradition) to use examples from the sketches as part of the fun. Such as:
print "I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok!"
The book start with the basic syntax, exception handling, and object oriented programming and then moves to more advanced topis such as extending and embedding python, distribution, databases, and threads. There is a significant section on network programming, web development data manipulation with XML. The book covers both some higher level modules and lower level details. Along with the network programming is some information on GUI and graphic elements, as well as UI elements with Tkinter.
The development tools mentioned in the book are IDLE, but I would recommend Eclipse + Pydev as the way to go. Pydev is a great IDE, and the debugging options from Eclipse are really great.
I use Python for creation of tools, Maya API scripts, and more, but learning more of the networking tools makes for a more complete game programmer/technical artist 🙂
Bye for now,