Computer Programming for Everybody, a Newbie Project

Anna Ravenscroft anna at
Tue Sep 23 17:22:24 CEST 2003

On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 17:47:22 -0700, Ron Stephens wrote:

>> > Three years of sustained effort.
>> >
>> > But we seemed to have taken away different lessons.
>> >
>> > My expereince led me to look upon the CP4E slogan quite askance.
>> > Yours, apparently, allowed you to embrace it.
> Agreed, and I respect your point of view on this. Also, I noticed that
> some one on the marketing-python list a few weeks ago made a similar
> comment; that he was not too happy about people making too much of
> Python's alleged ease of learning, because it devalued the skills of
> those professional programmers who need to be fairly paid and make a
> living at programming with Python. This seems to me to be a reasonable
> position to take, but still, since Guido coined CP4E, I feel justified
> in exploring that aspect of Python's nature, and I do find I that the
> hypotesis that ease of learning and ease of use might ultimately win out
> in the programming field, this resonates with me.
> But we certainly still need expert Python programmes, to do the real
> work, create the serious business systems, and also to create the tools
> that I and others like me use ;-)))
>> > It seems to me "everybody" who's imagination is ignited by something
>> > to
>>  the
>> > extent that it carries them through 3 years of sustained effort can
>> > expect to be doing "computer programming" somewhere along that line.
>> >
>> > Not very surprising, really.
> Good point. And the same aforementioned marketing-python poster pointed
> out that  brain surgery is not for everybody, and that programming is
> also not for everybody. And I agree. But the CP4E slogan is using
> hyperbole to make a memorable point...that programming can be usefully
> extended to a far greater audience. And that learning as much as one is
> interested in about the brain, nervous system, and artificial
> intelligence does not create a danger that such people will take
> scalpels to their loved ones' heads. It's horses for courses, you know?
>> > No slogans helped me along - that I do know.
>> >
>> > It was three years of sustained effort.
>> >
>> > For everybody?
>> >
>> > Are we *required* to embrace that notion?
>  LOL. Of course we are not required to embrace any notion. Even if you
> advocate curly braces, your welcome in my discussions, but I wont agree
> with you ;-)))
>> > Yes everybody  - let's say - has that potential. But that was true
>> > before Python came along.
>> >
>> > For some - like myself - Python was a real factor in helping realize
>> > that potential. I am a raving fan, in fact.
>> >
>> > But I do not discount my 3 years of sustained effort as anything less
>> > than
>>  3
>> > years of sustained effort, and seem to  think that that was a bit of
>>  factor,
>> > as well.
>  Hey, I did put in a lot of effort, sustained effort, as you say, and
> I do not de-value that. Perhaps one of my primary resaons for admiring
> Python so much is that it helped to sustain in me that 3 year effort,
> which is no mean feat.
>> > And would love to see the CP4E slogan go away now, peacefully and
>> > happily.
>> >
>> > Art
> Well, I like the CP4E sloagan; but I'm not married to it. One of my
> first exposures to Python was a mention of CP4E in some good book about
> hackers, primarily Linus Torvalds, but I forget the title. The author in
> a later chapter  of that book mentioned Guido's CP4E slogan and it
> piqued my interest. But I don't mind some others being turned off to it.
> Look, the main thing is this. My program is trivial, I could have done
> more than half of it by simply using an Excel spreadsheet way back 3
> years ago. But I wouldn't have , and the Python program, trivially
> simple as it is at its roots, raises interesting ideas for extension and
> expansion that could just possibly lead to quite interesting uses. It
> will still be trivial in most ways, it wont ever earn a buck, but it
> could be interesting and useful; and I don't think I would have been
> motivated to follow up on any of those ideas in a lesser language in
> which the barrier to such exploration was higher than I would want to
> pay. Python seems to encourage and reward incremental effort, and it
> leads one to explore extentions and improvements to programs because the
> language makes it relatively easy to see how to do the extensions.


Greetings from one longish-term newbie to another.

Python is the reason I'm doing programming. I learned a bit of Pascal and
Basic mumbletymumble years ago (let's just say that I started learning on
punchcards and leave it at that shall we?). But, it was never something
that I felt enough comfort with to *use* in my day-to-day life. It was
always so much effort for the slightest return...

Python, otoh, *IS* comfortable and easy to use - which means I use it
more. I've been able to use it regularly in little ways both at work and
at home. As I feel more comfortable with it, I find more ways I can use
it. Which is kewl!

And, afaic, if *I* can use it, just about *everybody* could... well, okay
- you have actually have more imagination and intelligence than a turnip...


Bottom line: ignore your body, it's most likely doing you harm.

			Lyle McDonald, mfw

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