Teaching python (programming) to children

Jeff Shannon jeff at ccvcorp.com
Sat Nov 10 01:09:27 CET 2001

John Roth wrote:

> "Michael Hudson" <mwh at python.net> wrote in message
> news:u4ro4nddv.fsf at python.net...
> > Laura Creighton <lac at strakt.com> writes:
> >
> > > In the same vein, if any of you out there are writing (or revising)
> > > 'how to program in Python' books or papers, could you please put
> > > the section on exception handling _early_, say, right after 'what
> > > is a loop', rather than in the last chapter?
> >
> > That's what my tech review for one such said over the summer :) This
> > may have been too late, of course.
> >
> > But Laura is right here.  Very very right.
> Then possibly the decision to make exceptions classes was
> wrong from a tutorial veiwpoint? Technically, it was the
> right decision, but it does shove exception handling rather
> late, after classes have been introduced.
> John Roth

Not necessarily.  Unless you're defining your own exceptions, you don't have
any reason to care whether they are strings or classes or transfinite
cardinals. ;)  A beginner doesn't need to know what a ValueError is, they
just need to know how to catch it, and when to expect it.  The main
practical effect of using classes, is that you can catch a variety of
exception types by catching a base class, but I don't think this feature is
essential to beginners.  By the time you're ready to exploit that
polymorphism, you should be ready to understand classes and inheritance
anyhow.  (My $0.02, anyhow...)

Jeff Shannon
Credit International

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