Python docs disappointing - group effort to hire writers?

Ethan Furman ethan at
Mon Aug 10 18:13:34 CEST 2009

Kee Nethery wrote:
> As someone trying to learn the language I want to say that the tone on  
> this list towards people who are trying to learn Python  feels like it  
> has become anti-newbies.
> Learning a new language is difficult enough without seeing other  
> newbies getting shamed for not knowing everything there is to know  
> about Python before asking their questions.
> For example, the guy who was looking for Python sample code for the  
> Google Map API, calling him a troll was harsh. Suggesting he broach  the 
> question to Google was a reasonable answer. By the same token, his  
> asking this list about the missing Python examples seems reasonable  
> also. Seems to me that people on a Python list might have some  
> background knowledge or even samples of the Google Python code that  was 
> no longer on the Google web site.
> There seems to be a general consensus among the newbies that other  
> languages have a user contributions resource tied to the main official  
> docs to allow newbies to teach each other what they have learned. The  
> desire is for to have the same kind of support resource so  
> that us newbies can self support each other.
> Kee Nethery

As someone who is (hopefully!) leaving newbieness I can say I have had 
no problem with the helpfullness of this list.  I will also say that 
before I ever posted any questions I had devoured Dive Into Python and 
How To Think Like a Computer Scientist Using Python (both excellent), 
and I try to put as much detail into my questions as I can so nobody has 
to guess what I'm trying to do.

As someone who relies heavily on the docs I will also say that the idea 
of giving the ability to modify the official documentation to somebody 
who is /learning/ the language is, quite frankly, terrifying.  I have no 
issues with a seperate system, some of which have been suggested, but 
good reference documentation is crucial.  If you find examples lacking, 
there are plenty of web-sites, or even (dare I say it?) actual hard-copy 
books!  ;)  My bookshelf currently has Learning Python, Programming 
Python, Python Cookbook, Python Programming on Win32, and Regular 
Expressions.  All great books, and not too pricey if you can get them used.

My $0.02.


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