Choosing Python

kyosohma at kyosohma at
Mon Mar 19 20:04:09 CET 2007

On Mar 19, 1:52 pm, "Sells, Fred" <f... at> wrote:
> glad to hear it.  Those of us who would like to introduce it in reluctant
> schools elsewhere could benefit from a post-semester evaluation, including
> student comments and some sample, running projects.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: python-list-bounces+frsells=adventistcare.... at
> [mailto:python-list-bounces+frsells=adventistcare.... at]On
> Behalf Of adawo... at
> Sent: Sunday, March 18, 2007 9:22 PM
> To: python-l... at
> Subject: Choosing Python
> The choice is made.   The school where I teach has finally
> made its decision to teach Python first.    For several years,
> we have been teaching Java first, and before that, C++.
> I introduced Python in one of my courses and got a lot of
> flak from some of the other faculty.  I also introduced Ruby,
> and got even more flak.   In my course, the students loved
> Python for its simplicity, its power, and its flexibility.
> It is clear that Python is not the ultimate, one-size-fits-all
> language.  No language is.  However, for a beginner's
> language it is nearly ideal.   Further, it is a great language
> for a wide range of serious programming problems.
> For large-scale, safety-critical software, I still prefer Eiffel
> or Ada.   Java could vanish tomorrow and, with Python
> and Ruby available, no one would miss Java at all.  As for
> C++, for any serious software systems, it should always be
> the language of last resort.   C++, as an object-oriented
> assembler, is pretty much its own virus.
> Already, students are turning in really good projects in Python,
> and some in Ruby.   Not all the professors are on-board with
> this decision, but in time I think they will be.
> Richard Riehle
> --

What would be really cool is to mix in the whole C/C++ extension
paradigm...or IPython/Jython in a second semester class. That way the
students could get into more real-world language mixes, which most
developers have to deal with. We run COBOL, Python, PHP, and some
truly awful VBA here. I wish I could have learned Python to being
with, but it would have needed to have been supplemented with some of
the other lower-level languages as well.


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