What is different with Python ?

Tom Anderson twic at urchin.earth.li
Mon Jun 13 13:42:23 CEST 2005


On Sun, 12 Jun 2005, Roy Smith wrote:

> Andrea Griffini <agriff at tin.it> wrote:
>
>> I think that for a programmer skipping the understanding of the 
>> implementation is just impossible: if you don't understand how a 
>> computer works you're going to write pretty silly programs. Note that 
>> I'm not saying that one should understand every possible implementation 
>> down to the bit (that's of course nonsense), but there should be no 
>> room for "magic" in a computer for a professional programmer.
>
> How far down do you have to go?  What makes bytes of memory, data busses,
> and CPUs the right level of abstraction?
>
> Why shouldn't first-year CS students study "how a computer works" at the
> level of individual logic gates?  After all, if you don't know how gates
> work, things like address bus decoders, ALUs, register files, and the like
> are all just magic (which you claim there is no room for).
>
> Digging down a little deeper, a NAND gate is magic if you don't know how a
> transistor works or can't do basic circuit analysis.  And transistors are
> magic until you dig down to the truly magical stuff that's going on with
> charge carriers and electric fields inside a semiconductor junction.
> That's about where my brain starts to hurt, but it's also where the quantum
> mechanics are just getting warmed up.

It's all true - i wouldn't be the shit-hot programmer i am today if i 
hadn't done that A-level physics project on semiconductors.

tom

-- 
Think logical, act incremental



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