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

Scott David Daniels Scott.Daniels at Acm.Org
Thu Oct 20 17:51:56 CEST 2005

Arthur wrote:

> ... I believe students looking to construct a Triangle should *not* be
> thinking about API issues. 
> You are making them make-believe, solve problems *they* don't have.  Let
> them solve the problems they *do* have. Like understanding a triangle, units
> of measure, hundreds of things, before they are worried about exposing their
> Triangle's API.

OK, here's the other side of that coin: unit tests are just as malleable
as the rest of the code.  If your first cut is wrong, you change the
tests.  You can teach the tests as a way of breaking down a problem into
parts.  A Unit test is a lemma on the way to a proof.  Not much by
itself, but easier to attack than the whole proof.

--Scott David Daniels
Scott.Daniels at Acm.Org

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