[Edu-sig] General Programming Education

Charles Cossé ccosse at gmail.com
Fri Jul 15 06:13:30 CEST 2011

Hi, Python's simplicity allows programmers to focus on the job that they
originally set out to do (as opposed to getting side-tracked and bogged-down
by language overhead considerations).   Very often a procedure is
challenging enough to work through without any unnecessary overhead.  Heck,
I think it's safe to say that nobody needs overhead added unnecessarily in
any circumstance.  BTW, there is the jython language, which is exactly
python with access to the jdk via python syntax ... thereby making Java
(appear as) a subset of Python (whereas it's really an implementation of
Python written in Java!).

As far as the teaching in general, I think introducing via procedural and
motivating oop by example would be a good approach.

Best Regards,
Charles Cossé

(sorry for 2x emails Corey -- 1st one didn't cc edu-sig)

On Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 9:20 PM, Corey Richardson <kb1pkl at aim.com> wrote:

> I was discussing programing with some peers at an MIT summer program, and
> many of them came from the "JAVA AND OOP!" type of places to the point
> that,
> when the opportunity came up for them to learn the basics in a seminar, a
> few said "Pfff, but python sucks. It's too simple". Is it just me, or
> should
> simplicity be a Good Thing? </rant>
> But, my real question to you educators is, which paradigm do you use when
> first teaching programming, and why? My peers cite OOP because, frankly,
> it's the only thing they've learned and have heard that e.g. procedural
> programming is bad. Personally, I like to use procedural (this is in
> Python, of course) for as long as possible. I don't even mention objects
> for a while, they aren't necessary or even desirable in many instances.
> I love using games as a project, and that's when I swoop in and bring up
> objects. My segue are usually the monsters of a text based game. I don't
> have them design an object for everything because it introduces complexity
> without benefit. Of course, it's not as flexible/correct a program as it
> could be, but it's a nice slow ease into OOP. But it certainly isn't the
> ONLY paradigm out there, and certainly not the most useful for everything.
> Any other insights?
> --
> Corey Richardson
>  "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves"
>     -- Abraham Lincoln
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AsymptopiaSoftware|Software at theLimit
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