[Edu-sig] Re: Python Programming: An Introduction to ComputerScience

Kirby Urner urnerk at qwest.net
Sat Dec 13 18:18:42 EST 2003

I appreciate your comments John.

One of many things I like about your book is how you jump into chaos right

I think that's good on a number of levels, one being that people new to
computers might think they're entering a brave new world of deterministic
Laplacian engines and are perhaps just ten short chapters away from being
able to simulate the stock market or global weather.  

However, as the chaos examples show, computer simulations are limited by
mathematical principles.  This is a useful lesson in humility.

I also really like the approach you've taken with Tkinter.  

You're quite right that students are crazy about computer graphics and want
this component.  

I've used POV-Ray for similar reasons.  

But whereas POV-Ray will spit out nice three dimensional polyhedra, the 2D
canvas has the advantage of doubling for a GUI-style interface, with buttons
and other widgets.  

In keeping it 2D, you're keeping it simple, and also connecting to the whole
business of GUI design (e.g. your calculator example).

And since Tk is there if IDLE is there, your approach also minimizes the
need for extra software and installation.


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