is this pythonic?

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Thu Jul 21 17:43:28 CEST 2005

On Thu, 21 Jul 2005 10:27:24 -0400, Bill Mill wrote:


> I said the *builtins* section. I think you learn pretty quick that
> figuring out what functions are builtins is pretty important in every
> language. There's a fair number of people out there giving the advice
> to read chapter 2 of the library reference cover-to-cover for a good
> starter on python.

Sure. But for a beginner to start learning the language by reading the
language manual is a bit much to ask. Some people can do it, but most
learn best by doing, not by reading dry, abstract descriptions of what
various functions do. In my experience, iterators and generators don't
even make sense until you've spent some time playing with them.

> Furthermore, I wasn't being hard on the guy, he still added up to +1.
> Lighten up, I was joking.

There is no need to get defensive, I was merely commenting on the need to
understand that inexperienced programmers often don't know enough about
the language to know where to start looking for the answer.

In fact, it isn't just inexperienced programmers, but experienced
programmers too. I'm sure Guido doesn't need to look up enumerate in the
reference manual; but if he wanted to write a program to calculate the
positions of the anti-nodes of vibratory modes of the bound-state of a
muon and a proton/neutron pair, the odds are pretty good he wouldn't even
know where to start looking either :-)

The great thing about Usenet and the Internet is that we can pick each
other's brains for answers, instead of flailing around blindly in manuals
that don't understand the simplest natural language query. And isn't that
why we're here?



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