Fwd: re AMTE thread re DrScheme & Python

Amit Patel amitp at Xenon.Stanford.EDU
Thu Feb 3 21:22:56 CET 2000

 Kirby Urner <urner at alumni.princeton.edu> wrote:
| For more context re the below, see the archived thread 
| (on-going) at the Math Forum.  This is from an 
| Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators
| listserv:
|    http://forum.swarthmore.edu/epigone/amte/snuquoiyor
| If people posting here have the time to read what
| Matthias says about Python... e.g.:
| I'd be happy to read their feedback.

The language you like is going to depend on the kinds of things you do
and the kinds of things you value.  I like Scheme.  I also like C++.
However, I don't use either these days..  I try to find the right tool
for the job, and Python seems to be a good choice for what I'm doing
these days.  I think students should be exposed to many different
tools in their education.

| >   As far as the language is concerned, Python is a 
| >     - highly irregular, 

Is that bad for the user?  Why?

| >     - badly implemented

Is that bad for the user?

| >     - non-parethetical version of (Mz)Scheme

Is that praise for Python? ;-)

| >     - without underlying theory of programming 
| >       language design 

Is that bad for the user?  Why?

| >     - or program development 

Does the user care about the theory?

| >     - with a cult-like following. 

Hey, in *this* newsgroup, that's a good thing! ;)

I think it comes down to values: what do you value?  If you value
theory and regularity and simplicity and so on, you probably wouldn't
want Python.  But that doesn't mean everyone values those things.  

I wish Unix and Mac folk would ask "what do you need?" in their flame
wars before saying "this is the right answer".  Unix folk flame Mac
folk because there isn't (wasn't) a nice command line interface.  The
Mac folk don't care.  The Mac folk flame the Unix folk because the
interfaces are so inconsistent.  The Unix folk don't care (much);
they'd rather have freedom in choosing toolkits.  Who is "Right"?  No
one.  I think language flamewars are similar.

	- Amit

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