Like to lear a language.

Michael Chermside mcherm at
Tue Aug 27 17:47:05 CEST 2002

Joe Creaney wrote:
> I found out that I have Python with windows XP and I am interested in 
> learning some programming as a hobby.  How difficult or complex is 
> python as a computer language.  Most of the experience I have is badly 
> out dated.  Most of my experience comes from learning basic on a TI 
> computer and apple in the 80s.  More recently I have been reading up on 
> Perl but can't get it to function on my computer.

Well, if you're going to leer a language, then Python is a great 
canidate -- after all, snakes are known for their curves, and Python is 
known for its beautiful syntax. ;-)

All puns aside, if you're going to learn a new language, then I think 
Python would be an excellent choice. It should be no harder for you to 
get it working than perl (uh oh... that may not be reassuring), but more 
importantly, it will teach you some good habits by containing lots of 
important language principles developed since the early days of basic on 
an Apple ][.

Lots of things will be different from what you remember. No line 
numbers, instead everything is grouped into "functions" or "classes" 
with "methods". Even elementry concepts like "variables" will be 
different -- in Basic, a variable was a name which referred to a memory 
location, while in Python a variable is a "reference" to some underlying 
"object". But Python is well-known for having a clean and elegent syntax 
which is a great boon for learning.

But the feature you are likely to find most useful is this list and the 
list at "". These lists 
contain lots of knowledgable and helpful folks who will be glad to help 
you through the process of learning to use Python.

-- Michael Chermside

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