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John,

I must respectfully disagree with learning python 2.7 first. I learned
python January 2015 (not on the IBM i) for greenfield development. After
research on the Python 2.7 vs python 3 I said I'm going whole hog in python
3. The bug modules (numpy, scipy, flask, I presume django) all work fine.
Some of the small open source ones need to be updated, but its not very
hard. A one or two line change, and you make a new friend on github. There
is a cheat sheet that will lay out all the issues for you:

http://python-future.org/compatible_idioms.html

There are future modules in python 2.7 that let you do thing like print()
the python 3 way. I went back and made some of my modules work in Python
2.7 and it was all straightforward.

The world does not need more greenfield python 2.7 code at this point.

Justin

On Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 1:31 PM John Yeung <gallium.arsenide@xxxxxxxxx>
wrote:

This thread was originally posted to RPG400-L. It was marginally
appropriate there because the text of the message asked if there were
any Python books for RPG programmers.

David suggested that the thread be moved to PCTECH, which is what I'm
doing, but I still talk about IBM's Python for PASE and iSeriesPython,
which can only exist on IBM i, and thus I think it's also appropriate
for MIDRANGE-L.

On Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 10:56 AM, <JRusling@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
The main decision comes down to: Are you looking to eventually install
IBM's Python for PASE or the third-party iSeriesPython? If you can
answer that, then I can help you choose a path accordingly.

I am looking to put it to use on the i in as yet undetermined areas.
Yes, i did read that you can have both, i installed iSeriesPython couple
days ago . . and thought "okay, now what?" <g>

I take it this means you either have no particular plans to install
IBM's Python, or if you do, it's not going to be soon? The relevance
of this is that it determines whether you start learning Python 2 or
Python 3 (unfortunately, these are incompatible enough that you should
focus on one to start with), and to some extent which "add-on"
packages you can reasonably expect to be available for use on the i.

If IBM's Python is not in the immediate picture, you should be
learning Python 2 (specifically 2.7).

Would also like to be able to create a small app or 2 for personal
use/learning.

You mentioned that you dabbled in Java and JavaScript. Both of these
translate quite well to Python. Python's classes are reminiscent of
Java's, but the overall dynamic nature of the language is more like
JavaScript.

As for learning materials, I still am a fan of the official Python
tutorial:

https://docs.python.org/2/tutorial/
https://docs.python.org/3/tutorial/

Kevin mentioned _Learn Python the Hard Way_ by Zed Shaw, which is
definitely a worthy choice for Python 2. It has a very opinionated,
master-pupil style that assumes you are starting from no knowledge and
then builds up in a rigorous fashion. You're not supposed to jump
around or take shortcuts. If the first few lessons are "too easy",
just go with it. Don't be tempted to skip them. The style can be
off-putting to some, but if you buy into it and commit, I think it
will be very effective. [Note that I have not personally studied this
book; I've only skimmed it to get a feel.]

If you can't get past the style of LPTHW, there are more conventional
choices like _Dive Into Python_ by Mark Pilgrim, which does assume you
have programmed before, and is available for Python 2 or Python 3:

http://www.diveintopython.net/
http://www.diveintopython3.net/

Finally, there are several beginner books for Python 3 by Al Sweigart:

https://inventwithpython.com/

All of the resources mentioned in this post have free, on-line
versions (meaning I could take a quick peek at them myself to get an
idea if they are total crap or not). There are of course many more
options that you can find with Google.

John Y.
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