PEP0238 lament

Michael Abbott michael.g.abbott at ntlworld.com
Wed Jul 25 15:34:47 CEST 2001


Peter Hansen <peter at engcorp.com> wrote in
news:3B5E1E79.A5C8CEF6 at engcorp.com: 

> Michael Abbott wrote:
>> 
> 
> You've forgotten the *one* type of programming which appeared
> (at least to me) to be the inspiration for this in the first place:
> 
> 4. Newbie programs
> 
Mmm.  True.  However, a point that was made earlier (which I think you're 
agreeing with) was that the real future of Python rests on its professional 
use.
    I'm all in sympathy with helping the beginning programmer, but to be 
honest I think there are only two sensible options:

1.  Let beginners start with a simplified language.  My fourth programming 
language (after some weird version of BASIC on data entry sheets, FORTRAN 
and BCPL) was ALGOLW, which can only be described as crippled, and Pascal 
was written with a similar intent.  These are quite good teaching 
languages.

2.  Let beginners fight with a real language.  Depends on who they are and 
what help they can get.

I'm not a great fan of dumbing down a real language to help beginners 
(unless it's a run-time option, which in reality is switching on option 1).

This little diatribe is really aimed against the case folding proposal.

Of course, I'm not a teacher, I'm paid for writing software, so this may 
affect my opinions :^)



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