[Edu-sig] Edu-sig Digest, Vol 101, Issue 10

Guido Carballo-Guerrero charras at me.com
Sat Dec 24 19:55:09 CET 2011


I'll be waiting for this book. Sounds very interesting.


On Dec 24, 2011, at 9:00 AM, edu-sig-request at python.org wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
>   1. a Python title I'd like to see.... (idle fantasy) (kirby urner)
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> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2011 22:27:19 -0800
> From: kirby urner <kirby.urner at gmail.com>
> To: edu-sig at python.org
> Subject: [Edu-sig] a Python title I'd like to see.... (idle fantasy)
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> My idea of good Python lore would be an almost book length discussion,
> at least, of the implementation of the "list" data structure.
> Go through the C in great detail, using this as an excuse to teach C
> in the context of it's supporting a higher language, looking ahead for
> your readers, knowing some of them will be heading off into C#, Java
> and PyPy implementations, at least.  Or have come from there.
> Talk about what testing looks like, when working on Python, and where
> can I get the tests, how might I set up shop as a developer (of Python
> and other things).
> One way is to read / compile / test the source code for Python itself.
> That's a curriculum I've proposed several times and I'm sure many
> have thought of besides me:  cut your teeth learning Python and then
> descend a level to a system language and begin studying the
> implementation of Python in that language.
> You'll start to appreciate Python in ways you never have, and you'll
> start learning what nitty gritty memory allocation looks like, and
> "declarative languages" (not the technical term -- compile-time
> checked, type audited, the whole nine yards).
> The thing is, you want your readers to be optionally following along,
> doing their thing at the command line (fire up that gcc), meaning what
> was "a book" is now this constellation of artifacts including
> different versions of lessons depending on what kind of platform you
> have.
> Compiling Python on Windows is not only doable, it's highly
> successful, but exactly how is it done?  Some readers would avidly
> branch into that discussion, while others staying on a Mac (the
> original Python was developed on a Lisa).
> You've been studying the list type, as a data structure, have delved
> into the history, of linked lists, bubble sorts, clever algorithms, a
> kinds of class computer science.  Lots of names fly by, opportunities
> to tell stories, fill us in.
> Obviously it'd take a talented writer, far beyond my ken, to tie this
> into LISP and the whole theory of S-expressions and like that, a heavy
> dose of formality, somewhere in the middle of the book.
> Make the list concept shine, but then come back to earth and have it
> be one data structure among many.  Python celebrates diversity,
> heterogeneity, cosmopolitan values.  The allure of crystalline purity
> is thankfully muted in Pythonia.  We don't need it to be "seamless".
> Because Python plays well with others, this is hardly just about
> recruiting to Python.
> We want to demystify computers more generally and find a
> not-dumbed-down dissection of the list type, in terms of C, and even
> lower level languages (how does C work), is just what a certain
> segment of the public was craving.
> A wild bestseller.  New York Times Review of Books is all agush.  "How
> to think like a computer scientist on steroids...".
> Dunno who could write it.  Might need to have interviews.  Maybe not a
> book at all.  Direct to DVD?
> Kirby
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