[Edu-sig] The fate of raw_input() in Python 3000

Brad Miller bmiller at luther.edu
Sat Sep 9 14:31:59 CEST 2006

On Sep 8, 2006, at 4:27 PM, kirby urner wrote:

> On 9/8/06, kirby urner <kirby.urner at gmail.com> wrote:
>> You're not making a monkey out of your mom, by making her loop  
>> through
>> some little menu, oblivious of the language underneath, its logic and
>> design.  You're "protecting you mother" (aka paradigm end user) from
>> knowing *anything* about Python.  That's your goal, that's the whole
>> point (i.e. end user = not a programmer).
> Just to clarify:  I think it *is* condescending to newbies to force
> them through a lot of raw_input scripts, since this is:
> (a) not state of the art from and end user's point of view nor is  
> it (not GUI)
> (b) not state of the art "coding for self" idiom (which'd be more
> shell interactive)
> As teachers, we shouldn't be propagating the hidden assumptions that
> go with raw_input, i.e. that there's this class if people out there
> "too dumb" to know anything about namespaces or functions.
> I'm saying this'll all be common knowledge soon.
> We'll know about 'strings' just as surely as we know about 'numbers'.
> Why?  Because "computer literacy" is not just for some tiny inner
> circle.  It's just basic fluency.  Like my friend Gene Fowler puts it
> (paraphrasing):  any poet worth his or her salt should know about XML
> already. http://controlroom.blogspot.com/2006/08/more-cast.html

I doubt many people on this list would claim that computer literacy  
is just for some inner circle.  But its clear to me that we are not  
in the same world.

In my world I get first year college students that want to major in  
computer science that have zero experience with programming.   We get  
good bright young students from small towns and small schools.  They  
don't have Saturday Academy.  They don't even have computer classes  
to take in their high schools.  If they do, computer class is about  
how to use Word and Excel.  Unfortunately, In this world having  
strings and xml and modules be common knowledge isn't going to happen  
anytime soon.


> Kirby
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Bradley Miller
Assistant Professor Computer Science
Luther College
Decorah, IA  52101

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