[Chicago] How did you learn Python?

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Fri Mar 6 19:36:39 CET 2009

> Structured Programming was highly controversial in its days because of
> professional pride / jealously, like who was this Djikestra guy daring
> to tell *me* (*me!*) "how to think like a computer scientists" -- many
> felt he was being condescending.

Sorry about the misspelling:


We've had at least one of his students at Free Geek in Portland, told
us some good stories (Edsger helped get him back in good graces with
authorities, after he hacked into Dutch defense system, brought a SWAT
team to his family home).

Anyway, as you know, sophisticated languages stopped including the
idea of a "label" to which you could "go" (Python doesn't have that
either, whereas BASIC, not being at all sophisticated, kept it).

In CS departments, Python is becoming quite standard (e.g. Haverford,
one of the better colleges), after which, if you're serious about
diving deeper, you can branch to a system language in the C family.  C
family includes C, C++, C# and Java.  Having Python so tightly wrapped
around all of these (e.g. C++ for VPython and wxPython) is a real


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