Beginning programming with Python

Janos Blazi jblazi at
Mon Nov 15 16:03:39 EST 1999

I have tried to use Perl in my teaching. It has a very powerful but alas!
not very simple syntax! To start with, my pupils used to forget the dollar
signs and Perl does not like that. So this year I shall use Python. We shall
see. Time will tell, if Python is really better. Maybe my pupils will forget
the indenting this time? There is actually nothing else you can forget in
Python. I feel that it is the right language for teaching.

Janos Blazi

Martijn Faassen <m.faassen at> schrieb in im Newsbeitrag:
80p9ds$ppo$1 at
> "Aaron Ginn (rp2885)" <rp2885 at> wrote:
> > An honest opinion, please; is Python better suited for beginners than
Perl, as
> > I've heard?
> You're asking in the Python newsgroup, so here's my honest opinion:
> Yes.
> I was an experienced programmer (C, C++, Pascal, and some glancing
> familiarity with a host of other languages) when I learned Python.
> Before I looked at Python, I struggled a few weeks trying to teach
> myself Perl. Then I downloaded the Python tutorial, read it in about an
> hour, and I never looked back. I could program in Python from then on.
> was much much easier for me to learn. I could reason about the right
> syntax for things, while with Perl I was constantly checking the
> This was of course the example of an experienced programmer, but I think
> it'll be true for beginners too. The multiplicity of syntax of Perl to
> do the same thing, and the odd syntax to do certain things will confuse
> beginners, and will also teach the wrong idea to beginners; programming
> is not about syntax gimmicks. With perl you could be tempted to learn
> lots of snippets and tricks to solve a problem and how to assemble
> these to a working program. Lots of copy&paste programming, and lots of
> 'how do I do this in Perl' questions. With Python you can focus more on
> the underlying structure, the semantics, of the program.
> Then again, this is a biased opinion. There are arguments why Perl would
> suit the human mind better *because* it is so syntactically variable and
> complicated. I don't believe in these arguments myself.
> Python has a clean and powerful syntax. Perl has just a powerful syntax.
> Regards,
> Martijn
> --
> History of the 20th Century: WW1, WW2, WW3?
> No, WWW -- Could we be going in the right direction?

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