[Edu-sig] New edu-sig page: first draft completed

Andre Roberge andre.roberge at gmail.com
Thu Apr 16 04:06:45 CEST 2009

Hi David,

On Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 9:45 PM, David MacQuigg <macquigg at ece.arizona.edu>wrote:

> Hi Andre,
> Nice work.  I have two suggestions, and a few minor edits.
> On the choice between Python 2 and 3, I would say teach both, but limit the
> Python 2 syntax to your specific needs.  Most students will see the print
> statement as the only difference, and learning both is not much burden,
> particularly if we make it an object lesson in not painting yourself into a
> corner with an inflexible initial design, which breaks backward
> compatibility when the enhancements to the original syntax get to be too
> much.

I do like the suggestion ... but there is more than print to consider, even
for beginners.  The most obvious change is for the integer division.
Another significant change deals with input()/raw_input() - longtimer on
edu-sig list will probably remember the discussion that took place here and
contributed to persuade Guido van Rossum not to eliminate them altogether
from Python 3.

I have tried to put words to that effect while incorporating your

> On the use of a terminal window instead of IDLE, I can't see any advantage,
> except in a few very special situations, like when I am editing a program
> that uses tkinter, and there is a conflict between the program and IDLE, so
> I edit in IDLE and run from the terminal window.  Those situations can be
> dealt with in whatever help file is guiding the student in each situation.
>  I don't see any need to say "if you like programming directly from a
> terminal window".

You're right, of course, when it comes to students.  I was thinking of some
"hard-core" teachers and trying to address their "needs" at the same
time...  I've changed the wording somewhat; let me know (David and/or
everyone else) if I missed the boat.

> Here are some suggested minor edits:
> prefer to rely on --> prefer to have
> If you are among this group, you might --> You might
> The purpose of this section ... but to focus only --> Here we will focus
> only
> potential interests for educators --> potential interest to educators
> The following may be of interest for children, --> For children,
> and get independent feedback --> and get immediate feedback
> much fewer people --> many fewer people
> much fewer free software --> much less free software
> for making game: --> for making games:

Thanks for pointing out these errors.  I should have noticed some (all?) of
them - I do mix often "much" and "many" even though I should know better.
I'm sure there are a few other "ackward" parts of sentences left here and
there - hopefully they will be edited out as I revise the page (and get more
suggestions ;-)



> -- Dave
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