[Edu-sig] Python for non-programmers

Arthur Siegel ajs@ix.netcom.com
Wed, 1 Mar 2000 21:30:51 -0500

Kirby writes  -

> Certainly this is executable directly in Python, but there's
> a layer between the Python language and getting results on
> the screen, which is this vocabulary of geometric functions
> and their properties which you've devised.

But isn't this only a matter of degree -  and is true any time
one works with an imported module.  I am being a little cute in PyGeo
by hiding the module import behind the IDE.

So, yes there is imported code adding to the functionality of the top level
script. But I would argue
this is orthodox Python.

The script itself is being parsed directly by Python and any syntactical
will generate a standard Python error message.

> I think what your program needs most is on-line documentation
> (on the web).  Plus a tutorial.  That's a lot of work of
> course.  But "getting something to work" is not the same
> as "getting something others find usable".

There is a good deal of html documentation done and in the download. Some of
gets a little beyond basic geometry - because I actual do use the
as a tool to help myself visualize geometric concepts. But for younger
you could limit yourself to a few basic elements and go a long way.

But yes it is work to document, which is probably one of  the main reasons
I'm pushing a bit to get a gauge of interest.

>   tri=Triangle(A,C,Ap)
> refers to a class named Triangle, i.e. is tri an instantiation
> of the Triangle class, with A,C and Ap passed to some __init__
> constructor "behind the scenes".

 That's all thats going on . And OpenGL draws it. Nothing up the sleeve.

> I realize that many projects fall somewhere in between vis-a-vis
> the above categories.  Do you think it fair to say yours falls
> between (a) and (b)?  I think my approach falls between (c)
> and (d).

Yes. On the other hand, I see a lot of similarities in our approach to

The truth is that I went as far as I did in developing an application
because I got mesmerized
with what I could get done with Python.

I am an old dog learning new tricks.

I don't participate in the discussions about whether Python is the best
language with which to
teach OOP, because I take that as a given. And I base that on my own
experience. Whatever I understand
about OOP I learned from Python - and that after a few false starts with
other approaches.

And yes, I can now apply that understanding in a general way.

>It's easy to confuse the two approaches, and think that just
>because one has written this dynamite application, useful in
>schools, and done 100% in Python, that it's therefore a good
>tool for advancing the goals of CP4E.

> Maybe yes, maybe no, is what I'd say -- there's no necessary
> correlation here.


Nonetheless, I could say a lot to defend PyGeo as relevant to CP4E -  but
will spare
the EDU-SIG, at least for now.

> My two cents.
> Kirby

For which I thank you.

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