A Byte of Python now available as EPUB

3 minute read

@littleidea says:

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think “I know, I’ll use a wiki” Now they have no idea how many problems are there.

The above tweet summarizes my experience in the past years in having converted A Byte of Python book into a wiki. I was hoping to make it much easier for readers to make corrections and contributions to the book. The only thing it enabled is tons of spam.

The second issue was that lots of readers kept emailing me to ask about ebook and kindle versions of the book which I could not do because it was stuck in a wiki format.

The solution was obvious - Pandoc, but it just seemed too daunting a task to do and hence I delayed it for years. It has been done now, thanks to my wife who did the conversion from the earlier Mediawiki syntax.

I also wrote a small Fabric file to update the websites in a single command invocation - so now I can edit the book and by running one command, it will update the book chapters pages on the Wordpress site as well as generate and update the PDF and EPUB files stored in AWS S3.

I have also made a few quick changes to the text:
  • Overhauled installation and first steps chapters for Python 3 and explaining how to find and open a terminal application in detail
  • Recommending newbies to start with ActiveState Komodo Edit editor and instructions on how to use it to create and run a source file
  • Removed unnecessary sections such as nonlocal, metaclasses, exec and eval, etc.
  • Moved escape sequences in strings to the 'More' chapter in the end, it was an unrequired hurdle
I haven't done an exhaustive review of the text yet, because frankly, that is draining, but I hope this is the start of me responding to readers' suggestions on how to improve the book.

Enjoy the new EPUB and PDF formats. The sources are at http://github.com/swaroopch/byte_of_python. Kindle edition, etc. coming soon.


@CoderBee says:

Awesome!! RT @swaroopch: New Blog Post : A Byte of Python now available as EPUB http://t.co/gH8iDArK

suhailil says:

Thats great, the only thing left now is a .mobi file, for mobiles, but thanks for making it available for kindle.

Vasudev Ram says:

Not very sure, but IIRC, saw somewhere a while ago that MediaWiki has a method to export an entire wiki as PDF. Then it may be possible, using calibre, to convert it into ebook formats.

Swaroop says:

@Vasudev Yes, that's how the previous PDF versions were generated, and converting from PDF to any other format doesn't work at all in my experience :)

Swaroop says:

@CoderBee Thanks :)

Created an app for live editing of Pandoc | Swaroop C H says:

[...] my wife was editing my books, she used Mou.app for live preview of the text so that she knows what the output is going to be [...]

Jair says:

Please find my feedback below:

I hope it can benefit other new python programmers.

I downloaded the file .EPUB as you indicated from the link: http://files.swaroopch.com/python/byte_of_python.epub but still was not readable by my kindle white paper.

Previously I had good luck with the .MOBI format, I got the Debian Administrators's Handbook in .MOBI format and was imported and recognized without issues.

So I decided to make an experiment, I went to this site: http://ebook.online-convert.com/convert-to-mobi

And uploaded your version .EPUB, choose all the defaults for conversion and voila! the result was a "byte-of-python.mobi" I imported this file and now I am able to read the book in a great format with a great device.

Thank you again for all the work done on that book and I really appreciate all your help to the community members like me, and hope you can continue improving the books.

Firefly says:

Thank you Swaroop for the book! and Thank you Jair for the EPUB to MOBI convert link.