Beginning programming with Python
Thomas A. Bryan
tbryan at python.net
Fri Nov 12 03:35:33 CET 1999
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.
I'd definitely vote for Python. I've programmed in both quite a bit,
and I can't imagine using Perl over Python for this purpose. Some things
that spring to mind:
1. Python's interactive interpreter will let them get their feet wet
immediately and will continue to help them test code as they progress.
2. Multiple IDEs exist for programming in Python.
3. Python's core syntax is much simpler than Perl's. Learning some of
Python's libraries will eventually be useful, but students can do a
lot of learning before even dipping into the library.
4. Python's design nudges programmers toward what I would consider a better
style and overall architecture. I believe that coding in Python improved
my programming in all other languages that I use. I think that some of
its design (indentation-based blocks, any file is a module, convenient
object-oriented support) make would really help students get off to a
5. Objects and references are simpler to explain and use in Python than in Perl.
See also the "Making the Python case to my dept." thread from a few
days ago. The thread there was geared toward using Python at a University,
but many of the same arguments apply in your case, too.
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