[Edu-sig] re: Python Programming: An Introduction toComputerScience

Dethe Elza dethe.elza at blastradius.com
Thu Dec 18 23:00:09 EST 2003

Quoth Nicholas,

> As a student who has gone through VB first (freshmen year), and then 
> CS1&2 with Jeff Elkner, I can reassure you that the way the children 
> are learning VB is completely useless, and none of it will stay with 
> them. Furthermore, it doesn't get them interested in programming at 
> all, and the children don't walk out of the class with -any- 
> knowledge. In example, during CS1 I hadn't the faintest clue as to 
> what a function was, and why they were used, and I was one of the 
> "best" in the VB class. Even though in VB, we used function, the 
> concepts just weren't taught. So basically the Business area is a 
> failure in my eyes, and doesn't really cover programming. Unfortuantly 
> I just don't see python covering the VB niche, because of it's 
> non-visual nature, and I can't really see a good argument for it being 
> in the Business curriculum.

Python doesn't isn't necessarily lacking a visual nature, it just isn't 
bound tightly to an IDE/Visual Designer/Database.  There are an 
embarassment of GUI tools, visual builders, IDEs, and databases to 
choose from, as well as more advanced tools for 2D, 3D, etc.  What 
Python could benefit by is *packaging* a default selection of these 
tools put together to appeal to VB users, especially now that VB.net is 
essentially a different syntax for C# and not an easy-to-use scripting 
language (this opens an opportunity for Python in the Windows world, 

With the WinPython package installed you can do anything from Python 
that you can do from VB, including (if I recall correctly, I don't have 
my copy of "Win32 Programming with Python handy) creating a UI with VB 
and scripting it with Python.

It's interesting that VB is so poorly taught, and I'm very glad that 
Python is taught well, but I wouldn't rule out Python for business 


"I started with nothing, and I still have most of it."  -- Steven Wright

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