Bitching about the documentation...

skip at skip at
Tue Dec 6 12:54:06 CET 2005

    >> Are you telling us you learned C#, smalltalk, lisp, C, perl,
    >> whatever, from 1 website only, without looking at any books, without
    >> spending any money on IDEs or any software?  Cause that's what you're
    >> asking here.

    rurpy> For perl and C, yes, that's (close to) what I'm telling you.
    rurpy> Perl I learned exclusively from the man pages, before WWW.  I
    rurpy> used it for 10 years before I ever bought a printed book.  C I
    rurpy> learned exclusively from the K&R book.

That's about the same for me, except Perl never "stuck".

    rurpy> I tried to learn Python from the "official" docs but found it
    rurpy> impossible.  

I did as well, though the docs as they existed in 1993 or so (that is
pre-Lutz, pre-Beasley).

    rurpy> I bought Beasley's book (I think this may have predated
    rurpy> Martelli's book but I don't remember) which I thought quite good
    rurpy> and which I still turn to before the Python docs in most cases.

Like other free software, you can choose to figure things out yourself (use
the source Luke) or pay someone to help you out.  I'm not using this as an
excuse for poor Python docs.

    rurpy> That's a very good list and I will save a copy, thanks.  But what
    rurpy> does it have to do with Python's documentation?

I'm sure you could find similar lists for Perl, C, Ruby, Tcl, Java, C++, C#,
etc.  Does that mean their documentation stinks?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  It
just means a lot of people have somewhat different ways of tackling the same


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