What is different with Python ?

Andrea Griffini agriff at tin.it
Sat Jun 18 08:51:05 CEST 2005

On 17 Jun 2005 21:10:37 -0700, "Michele Simionato"
<michele.simionato at gmail.com> wrote:

>Andrea Griffini wrote:
>> Why hinder ?
>To be able to content himself with a shallow knowledge
>is a useful skill ;)

Ah! ... I agree. Currently for example my knowledge
of Zope is pretty close to 0.00%, but I'm using it
and I'm happy with it. I did what I was asked to do
and took way less time than hand-writing the cgi stuff
required. Every single time I've to touch those scripts
I've to open the Zope book to get the correct method
names. But I'd never dare to call myself a zope
developer... with it I'm just at the "hello world"
stage even if I accomplished what would require a
lot of CGI expertise.
But once I remember running in a problem; there was
a file of about 80Mb uploaded in the Zope database
that I wasn't able to extract. I was simply helpless:
download always stopped arount 40Mb without any error
message. I wandered on IRC for a day finding only
other people that were better than me (that's easy)
but not good enough to help me.
In the end someone gave me the right suggestion, I
just installed a local zope on my pc, copied the
database file, extracted the file from the local
instance and, don't ask me why, it worked.
This very kind of problem solution (just try doing
stupid things without understanding until you get
something that looks like working) is what I hate
*MOST*. That's one reason for which I hate windows
installation/maintenance; it's not an exact science,
it's more like try and see what happens.
With programming that is something that IMO doesn't
pay in the long run.
I'm sure that someone that really knows Zope would
have been able to get that file out in a minute,
and may be doing exactly what I did.
But knowing why! And this is a big difference.

Indeed when talking about if learning "C" can hinder
or help learning "C++" I remember thinking that to
learn "C++" *superficially* learning "C" first is
surely pointless or can even hinder.
But to learn "C++" deeply (with all its quirks) I
think that learning "C" first helps.

So may be this better explain my position; if you wanna
become a "real" programmer, one that really has things
under control, then learning a simple assembler first
is the main path (ok, may be even a language like C
can be a reasonable start, but even in such a low-level
language there are already so many things that are
easier to understand if you really started from bytes).

However, to be able to do just useful stuff with a
computer you don't need to start that low; you can
start from python (or, why not, even dreamweaver).


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