Beginning programming with Python

William Park parkw at
Thu Nov 11 17:05:57 EST 1999

On Thu, Nov 11, 1999 at 02:12:02PM -0700, Aaron Ginn wrote:
> Hello all,
> I'm starting a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting computer
> literacy in low-income youth (ages 12-18).  The curriculum will
> include an introduction to programming using either Python or Perl.
> First, I know Perl very well, but I know nothing about Python.  I've
> heard from many sources that Python is the best language to teach
> someone with no programming experience because it emphasizes
> fundamentals and the correct (i.e. best) way to program.  Could anyone
> comment on how the two languages compare in this aspect?  Also, I will
> need to learn Python as well if I choose to go that route.  I am very
> literate with Perl and Tcl/TK.  How quickly can I expect to pick up
> Python?

One weekend... at least for me :).  Go through the tutorial and other
documentations in <>.

> Secondly, if I choose to use Python for this, I would like to supply
> each student with a reference book on Python.  I've narrowed it down
> to a choice between the two O'Reilly books, "Programming Python" and
> "Learning Python".  PP apears to have a lot more meat to it, but LP
> appears to be more suited to the beginner.  Assuming the audience
> includes kids that have never programmed before, should I go with LP,
> or will I miss out on anything by not getting the more detailed book?

For beginners, "Learning Python" is definitely better than "Programming
Python".  But, as announced in <>, ToExcel is publishing
the official tutorial, reference, and library documentations; so, you
may want to look into those.  Also, there are other books coming out


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