Teaching python (programming) to children

David Andreas Alderud aaldv97 at student.remove-this-part.vxu.se
Mon Nov 12 18:15:22 CET 2001

> This, of course, represents a value judgment on your part that loose
> typing (and by the way, Python is *strongly* typed, but dynamically so)
> is a bad thing.  In any case I would argue that the habits beginners would
> pick up learning Python would serve them well in the future.  When they
> to a statically typed language, or a weakly typed one (Python is neither),
> they will question *its* value and ease of use.

Depends on the audience I guess, people who are interested in programming
tend to be interested in how the computer works and how to write efficient
Things like dictionaries are good for non-programmers to get things done,
it's good for a simple solution but can not be transformed in a way that BST
are simply turned into an R\BST when the requirements change.

> No, good teachers who promote consistent coding style, modular
> design, unit testing, and so forth teach students how to write good code.
> The language has very little to do with it, except insofar as some
> languages get in the way of that, while others do not.  Python does not.

Again, depends on what kind of view one has of teaching and learning, my
view is that the students should teach them selves, and that is best done in

> Python has proven very effective for hardware programming.  Yes,
> via a DLL or driver or something, but then again very little of
> what constitutes "hardware programming" involves access to the
> hardware, and most involves what you *do* with that access.
> AI programming is apparently best done with LISP according to
> some, but I've found Python nice for, say, genetic algorithms,
> so I wouldn't say it represents a necessarily *bad* choice.

We have completely different views on low-level programming, when doing
hardware programming I do not simply mean accessing hardware.
In AI programming Python can be used, just like C and assembly language or
any other language under they sky, however, generic AI programming is done
in functional languages for a reason; most solutions in AI is based on
recursion, what better language to write recursion in than a functional
language. Second, I've never seen selfmodifying code written well in
anything but assembly and LISP.

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