Documentation suggestions

BartlebyScrivener rpdooling at gmail.com
Thu Dec 8 17:00:25 CET 2005


Andrew,

The site changes for the new-to-Python person are a big improvement in
terms of the sequence of exposures, but from a marketing perspective,
the first thing they read about Python is still aimed at a programmer.
The bulleted points in BeginnersGuide/Overview are, again, things that
are important to programmers ("Automatic garbage collection frees you
from the hassles of memory management" means nothing to me, even now
after reading a Python book and several tutorials).

I wish there were some sort of sexy exposure to Python before hitting
them with the download. Again you purport to be making a page for
someone who's never programmed before, so almost certainly a Windows
user. And a Windows user is not going to download any program until
he's absolutely sure it won't destabilize his fragile system or infect
it. So nobody new to programming and new to Python is going to download
at the point you present them with that opportunity. Too bad there
isn't something like what Ruby does with the "Try Ruby In Your Browser"
thing, which is a very effective marketing tool (although obviously I
chose Python).

http://tryruby.hobix.com/

The other thing I vividly recall struggling with was: Do I download
this Python.org version for my Windows XP machine, because it's the
official one, or do I use the one from ActiveState because others say
it comes with all sorts of goodies for Windows users? I don't know what
the politics are there, but if I were you I'd take a stand and put it
on the download page to help the new person out, who is uncertain about
what to do.

Ultimately I downloaded ActiveState because I found their site easier
to understand (again speaking as a person relatively new to programming
and absolutely new to Python).

Thanks,

rpd

"I read part of it all the way through."--Samuel Goldwyn

www.dooling.com




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