Need some advice

Bengt Richter bokr at
Sun Nov 30 03:50:51 CET 2003

On Sun, 30 Nov 2003 00:19:53 GMT, Jeff Wagner <JWagner at> wrote:

>I am in the process of learning Python (obsessively so). I've been through a few tutorials and read
>a Python book that was lent to me. I am now trying to put what I've learned to use by rewriting that
>Numerology program I wrote years ago in VB.

My bet is that the VB program will have some ugly things in it, and translating it in too
fine detail will amount to programming Python in VB, which is perverse.

I'd suggest you back off and draw a language-neutral flowchart of your old program, and mess
with that until it's a simple and clear spec of what you want your program to do.

At that point you should be able to implement it in python without carrying over VB-isms.

OTOH, you may not be ready to take full advantage of Python, because there are a lot of things
your don't know about it yet (don't feel bad -- we're all ignorant, just on different parts --
to paraphrase Will Rogers ;-)

>There are times I am totally stuck (for instance, I just had an idea to put the numerical values of
>the alphabet and months of the year in a dictionary located in a function. Then, I can import the
>dictionary I need from that function ... well, I'm getting import errors).
Sounds like your concepts of modules and functions and importing still need adjustment ;-)

>So the question is this ... when I get stuck like this and seem to be banging into walls with
>everything I try, is it better to continue trying different things or stop, take a break and go back
If you need a hammer to do the immediate job right, is it better to keep whacking away with pliers
and crescent wrenches and whatnot, or go back to the booklet that came with your
almost-everything-in-the-box toolkit and look at the pictures showing uses for all the goodies?

>to reading a tutorial or a Python book? Or is it better that after I've tried everything I can think
>of, I just post the question here, get the answer and move forward?
If you can't think of what to try, chances are you are best off getting up to speed on basics,
so you know know what's available to you. Otherwise you are wondering how to build a Lego windmill
with the first dozen pieces that come out of the box ;-)

Good luck & have fun ;-)

Bengt Richter

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