[Edu-sig] General Programming Education

Laura Creighton lac at openend.se
Fri Jul 15 06:22:02 CEST 2011

In a message of Thu, 14 Jul 2011 23:20:06 EDT, Corey Richardson writes:

>a few said "Pfff, but python sucks. It's too simple". Is it just me, or 
>should simplicity be a Good Thing? </rant>

It is not just you.  I think these people may be members of the
'misery loves company' crowd.  ``It was hard for me to learn it, so it
had better be hard for you, too.''  Or the ``suffering builds
character'' crowd.  Or the ``programming is an elite business -- we
wouldn't want just anybody doing it´´.  Possibly they just hate
fun, and get annoyed at the idea that it might be fun to program in
Python.  I've met all of the above.  Pity their students.  Of course,
some just have too optimitic a view of the human condition.  They
reason that there must be something good about all the complexity of
java -- even if it is not obvious to them - or else we would have
stopped using it already.  They just need a lesson in the inertia
of human institutions.


>Any other insights?

Python already has a lot of very nice data types.  The dictionary is a
wonderful thing.  People should _use_ them.  Many people who have been
taught the OOP religion automatically refactor every dictionary they
find into a class with attributes, because they think that this is in
some way 'better'.  This is dead wrong.  If you refuse to use the very
high level abstractions out of your VHLL, and only stick to the Low
Level abstractions, then you might as well be programming in a LLL
such as Java.  That some of your colleagues apparantly did not
recognise that the reason that Python is simpler is because it is a
VHLL -- because simplicity in expressing ideas in the hallmark of a
VHLL -- does not speak very well for them.


>Corey Richardson

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