[Edu-sig] Python as a first language for computer sciencist

Arthur ajsiegel at optonline.net
Thu Oct 20 00:23:29 CEST 2005

> -----Original Message-----
> From: edu-sig-bounces at python.org [mailto:edu-sig-bounces at python.org] On
> Behalf Of Brad Miller
> I understand that you see this as a risk, and as a downside to using
> Python.  However, I rarely see these kinds of errors in the programs
> that my students are writing in CS1 and CS2.

I try to be the voice of the student, rather than the teacher - as I in fact
was introduced to programming with Python.

And though I certainly cannot say that I never made this kind of error, and
can say that I never made this kind of error that was at all difficult to
trace to its source.

Which is not something I kind say about many other kinds of errors that I
have made.

As others have pointed out, the potential different kinds of errors one
might make are essentially infinite, and one quickly learns which relatively
small population of those the language is deigned to capture on your behalf,
and those for which one must take responsibility. It always seems to me that
it is folks coming from languages that include this kind of error in their
"catch" list for whom this is a major deal. It's not like Python hasn't
thought of it. The trade-offs are well understood I would think, and
eyes-open decisions have been made.

OTOH, in designing by own API for PyGeo, where there is a long list of
potential keyword arguments that a class constructor make accept, it was
child's play (I did it ;) ) to design a mechanism to catch and report
keyword arguments that the class was not designed to accept. I spell "color"
my way, and if you try to spell "colour" your way, you will be told that
*you* are spelling it wrong, not I.


More information about the Edu-sig mailing list