making the Python case to my dept.

William Ahern wahern at jinsa.org
Fri Nov 5 23:26:52 CET 1999


Hello,

I have never used Python, but I'm currently attempting to persuade a department
at my university (Geroge Washington) to use Python as an intro language. I have
read that it was good for this. From what I hear, the current options on the
table are Delphi and Java. I don't know much about Delphi, but I doubt Java is
any good for intro classes.

Could anybody suggest some substantive info to make the case (or not make it).
Also, the department will need an IDE (Win95/Mac), so if anybody knows where to
find one....

I know Python is being used on a broad range of applications. Complaints from
students these days, a professor told me, is that the current language, Pascal,
is outdated and doesn't have much applicability in the real world. I tend to
agree, though I'm an International Affairs major, not CS.

I've seen all of the energy and spirit behind the Python community, and I can't
fathom why any cash strapped organization would drop a few grand for something
that is freely available on the internet. Anyhow, how much support coukd
somebody need for an IDE (and a prgramming language). Not to mention the fact
that a free and OSS language implementation and IDE would preclude students
from secretly passing around the only CD in class w/ the applications on it. I
figure using Python would be a start to getting people to think outside of the
Microsoft culture (for better or worse).

In any event, please at least CC: responses to wahern at jinsa.org. I'm not
subscribed to this list.

Thanx a bunch,

Bill Ahern
MIS, JINSA




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