[Python-3000] educational aspects of Python 3000

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Mon Sep 11 20:26:51 CEST 2006

On 9/11/06, Michael Chermside <mcherm at mcherm.com> wrote:
> Toby Donaldson writes:
> > Any suggestions for how educators interested in the
> > educational/learning aspects of Python 3000 could more fruitfully
> > participate?
> You're doing pretty well so far! Seriously... just speak up: Pythonistas
> (including, in particular, Guido) value the fact that Python is an
> excellent language for beginners, and we'll go out of our way to keep
> it so. But you might need to speak up.
> Elsewhere:
> > For teaching purposes, many educators report that they like raw_input
> > (and input). The basic argument is that, for beginners, code like
> >
> >      name = raw_input('Morbo demands your name! ')
> >
> > is clearer and easier than using sys.stdin.readline().
>        [...]
> > For instance, would there be interest in the inclusion of a standard
> > educational library...
> Personally, I think input() should never have existed and must go
> no matter what.

Agreed.  Teach the folks eval() quick if you want something like that.

I think raw_input() is worth discussing -- I wouldn't
> need it, but it's little more than a convenience function.

Yeah, but when you are learning it's cool to take input easily.  I loved
raw_input() when I started out.

The idea of a standard edu library though is a GREAT one. That would
> provide a standard place for things like raw_input() (with a better
> name) as well as lots of other "helper functions" useful to beginners
> and/or students -- and all it would cost is a single line of boilerplate
> at the top of each program ("from beginnerlib import *" or something
> like that).
> I suspect that such a library would be enthusiastically welcomed into
> the Python core distribution *IF* there was clear consensus about
> what it should contain. So if the EDU-SIG could do the hard work of
> obtaining the consensus (and mark my words... it IS hard work), I
> think you'd be 90% of the way there.

Yeah.  Stuff that normally trips up beginners could be put in here with
pointers to how to do it properly when they get more advanced.  And making
the name seem very newbie will (hopefully) discourage people from using it
beyond their learning code.

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