This week we’ve got a new introduction to computer science using Python, your very own wishlists on our website, and an interview with Stuart Halloway on the new programming language Clojure.

Practical Programming

Now available in Beta, Practical Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science Using Python is a great tool to teach real-world programming to students and beginning programmers.

Computers are used in every part of science from ecology to particle physics; this introduction to computer science continually reinforces those ties by using real-world science problems as examples. Anyone who has taken a high school science class will be able to follow along as the book introduces the basics of programming, then goes on to show readers how to work with databases, download data from the web automatically, build graphical interfaces, and most importantly, how to think like a professional programmer.

Topics covered include:

  • Basic elements of programming from arithmetic to loops and if statements.
  • Using functions and modules to organize programs.
  • Using lists, sets, and dictionaries to organize data.
  • Designing algorithms systematically.
  • Debugging things when they go wrong.
  • Creating and querying databases.
  • Building graphical interfaces to make programs easier to use.
  • Object-oriented programming and programming patterns.

Wishlists are here!

By popular demand, we’re very pleased to announce that you can now create, use, and share your own personal wishlist of your favorite Pragmatic books, PDFs, and screencasts.

Whenever you’re logged in to our site, you’ll see a new button underneath “Add To Cart” on each book and screencast’s page. Click!, and it will add the title to your personal wish list. Use it to keep track of books you want to buy, or use the special link at the bottom of the page to share your list with family and friends—after all, what could be better than a stocking full of Pragmatic titles come Christmas?

To access your wishlist at any time, you can go to your account and click on the Visit Your Wish List link.

Stuart Halloway on Clojure

Stuart Halloway, author of Programming Clojure, tells Susannah Pfalzer all about this new and cool programming language. Stuart explains how Clojure helps you move beyond noun-based programming toward verb-based programming, and why pure functions are important for concurrency. It’s a lot of Lisp, but with Less parentheses—even fewer than Java itself. See how to be more expressive on the Java VM, and how Clojure is different from Scala and Groovy.

Now available at and on iTunes.

Coming Soon:

Recently Released:

Thanks for your continued support,

Dave & Andy