[Pythonmac-SIG] Mac User Python Newbies
pecora at anvil.nrl.navy.mil
Mon Feb 14 18:29:07 CET 2005
Troy Rollins wrote:
> Well, I've transitioned between tools like Director, REALbasic, and
> Revolution, and extremely quickly moved into creating non-trivial
> applications. With Python, it is far less condusive to "playing" and
> therefore seems to hold me somewhere around the print "hello world"
> Yes, I've look at the cited examples... perhaps they simply didn't
> connect with me on the right level. Python stuff always seems to be
> written from the perspective of "ok, you are starting from a lower
> level language", but many of us are probably coming from the other
> direction – a higher level language... Lingo, REALbasic, etc. It would
> seem to me that the transition to Python should be easy, but perhaps I
> just haven't yet encountered the right materials.
> I just received 3 books on Python from Amazon. Every one of them
> starts with the line "this book does not teach you to program in
> Python, and assumes you already know how to do that." Perhaps it is
> just my own dumb luck, but that is the angle most web materials take
> as well in my experience. OR, it is print "hello world".
> I'm pretty committed to learning this, but I'm somewhat surprised at
> how much productivity I have to throw away in order to do it. Many
> would say "well, that's free software for you." But, I'm not
> interested in the "free" part. Free is not what is important to me.
> Frankly, I'd rather pay for something productive. My time is worth WAY
> more than whatever a decent tool would cost. The part that interests
> me is open source, and "future-proofing." To me, "free" translates to
> "loss of productivity." I'm not a hobbyist, and I'm not looking to
> Python as something to use "outside of my day job." I make my living
> with tools like this, and have a staff that does as well.
> Please don't interpret any of my comments as saying anything bad about
> list members, contributors, or Python. That isn't the intent at all. I
> do realize that these things take time, that Python is free and
> open-source, and that only I am responsible for my ability to use it,
> and choice to do so.
Likewise my own previous comments were not intended to be criticisms of
the members or the developers who put so much time and energy into the
open source that is Python, but I can see how we might be rubbing some
the wrong way.
I do look at your comments above and mine before as descriptions of what
a newbie faces when coming aboard. That's just the way it looks from our
vantage point. I've been using Python for several years, but I still
feel like a newbie (and probably still am) as there is a myriad of
packages that I have no clue about (although I see the names flash by
online or my emails). I still feel that my code is fragile and hard to
maintain. For example system upgrades to OS X killed off some plotting
software I had learned to use. It appears that it is up to me to fix
that. I've been looking around, but like Troy I am trying to use Python
in my job, but I don't have time to become a guru nor the desire. So
where does that leave me or, rather, us?
As someone else said in this thread, this is a good issue for the Python
community to consider since it will affect who will be included in your
world in the future and what that future will look like.
Naval Research Lab
Washington, DC 20375
P.S. I have not yet had time to try out Chris Barker's packaging of
matplotlib. I hope to do that later this month, but BIG KUDOS to him for
trying to make the code available to more people.
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