I'm definitely on the old side of the distribution of programmers, and I
strongly appreciate tab expansion in tools like Jupyter and vim. I never
used a full "IDE", whatever the boundary line is. But exactly that kind of
reminder of e.g. "what's in itertools again?" is very helpful to me, both
when I wrote programs and when I teach them.
... But Raymond will always remain a month and a half older than me :-).
On Fri, Aug 2, 2019, 10:25 AM Guido van Rossum
On Fri, Aug 2, 2019 at 6:38 AM Rhodri James
On 02/08/2019 06:26, Brendan Barnwell wrote:
It is massively more discoverable, for one simple reason: autocomplete.
In teaching people to program, I often use Jupyter notebook, which has great autocomplete functionality that can also bring up the documentation on any function. You can type itertools.[TAB] and get a list, and then you can scroll down the list looking for a likely function, and when you get to it you can hit Shift-Tab and see the documentation. Certainly other IDEs have similar functionality.
This is a colossal win over having to go the documentation and
through the text for a recipe that is not "addressable" in any way. You can't even link to it, for heaven's sake! The function docs in all the modules have permalinks but the recipes are just unstructured text.
I'd have to challenge that "colossal win". I am very uncomfortable with IDEs that try to do my thinking for me, and I start turning things off on those occasions when I am forced to use them. It would even occur to me to try autocompletion. Reading the documentation is so much easier, and far more likely to point me at what the right answer actually is, rather than just what I think it might be.
There seems to be a clash of generations here, or perhaps a clash of different educational paths. I'm in the same boat as you, but Python's recent success is definitely driven by things like IPython and Jupyter Notebooks which are optimized for exactly the approach to learning that Brendan describes. (And make no mistake about it, it is a form of learning!) I wonder what Raymond thinks (he's the maintainer of itertools and also an educator).
PS. Raymond, if you're not reading python-ideas, Brandon's message is here, and it's well-written:
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