[Edu-sig] PyBat ???

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Fri Jan 30 04:41:28 CET 2009

On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 5:54 PM, David MacQuigg
<macquigg at ece.arizona.edu> wrote:

<< SNIP >>

> The goal is to teach fundamentals, not specific languages or applications.  Our community college has a course in PHP (also Word, Excel, etc.)  Also, as you point out, students can learn these pronto from Safari, once they understand the concepts.

Thank you for clarifying sir.

Yes, Safari or any online collection of relevant documentation, is a
requirement for getting the job done.  Even if you're highly expert in
one area, you're bound to stray into another where you must hit the

An important goal is to role model "life long learner" -- not just
giving lip service to that around here.

> U of A freshmen currently have two choices - Java or C.  Python is pretty close to Java, and I'm assuming much easier to use for website development (not familiar with what's available in Java, just an extrapolation from other projects comparing Java and Python).  I know PHP is very popular in website development, but I've heard it is insecure, so I would worry about using it to run student code on a webserver.

If the idea is to use PHP as a general purpose agile, in contrast to a
system language, then I think that's a bad idea.  Few people write
standalone applications in PHP, as PHP books will be the first to
admit e.g.  MySQL and PHP from Scratch, (c) 2000, QUE

PHP is very web-centric.  Please tell your administration that basing
core studies on PHP is frowned upon, or find me one high prestige
institution that does it, maybe I'm all wet.  Even as a web
development language, I think it's being eclipsed.

> On a personal level, I probably won't be involved if the decision is PHP.  I just can't see learning a whole new language for one project.  Now if someone were to convince me that PHP, Ruby, or whatever, had some fundamental advantage over Python, I might change my mind.

Ruby and PHP are not in the same category in my mind. I'd say Python
has better libraries and is in no way inferior to Ruby.  You'll hear
Ruby people saying things like "it just feels better" but that's just
Coke versus Pepsi, not computer science.


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