Feedback wanted on programming introduction (Python in Windows)

Olof Bjarnason olof.bjarnason at gmail.com
Wed Oct 28 08:47:31 CET 2009


2009/10/28 Alf P. Steinbach <alfps at start.no>

> * Chris Rebert:
>
>> On Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 11:52 PM, Alf P. Steinbach <alfps at start.no>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> [Cross-posted comp.programming and comp.lang.python]
>>>
>>> Hi.
>>>
>>> I may finally have found the perfect language for a practically oriented
>>> introductory book on programming, namely Python.
>>>
>>> C++ was way too complex for the novice, JScript and C# suffered from too
>>> fast-changing specifications and runtime environment, Java, well, nothing
>>> particularly wrong but it's sort of too large and unwieldy and
>>> inefficient.
>>>
>>> I don't know whether this will ever become an actual book. I hope so!
>>>
>>> But since I don't know much Python -- I'm *learning* Python as I write --
>>> I
>>> know that there's a significant chance of communicating misconceptions,
>>> non-idiomatic ways to do things, bad conventions, etc., in addition to of
>>> course plain errors of fact and understanding in general, to which I'm
>>> not
>>> yet immune...
>>>
>>> So I would would be very happy for feedback.
>>>
>> <snip>
>>
>>    http://preview.tinyurl.com/progintro
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>>
>>> - Alf
>>>
>>> PS: Please use the groups, this thread, for feedback; not e-mail. -DS
>>>
>>
>> - The slogan is "batteries included", not "all batteries included".
>> - As a user of the platform, I can tell you it's "Mac OS X" (with a
>> space, not a slash).
>>
>
> Thanks!
>
> I'll fix that right away. :-)
>
>
>
>  - ActivePython is a distribution, not an implementation. It's just the
>> standard CPython from python.org with some bundled extras.
>>
>
> Thanks, but it's also a language implementation, the way I use that word
> :-). This is the same as the MinGW g++ C++ compiler is a language
> implementation, in spite of being just a packaging of the CygWin compiler.
> Its origin doesn't matter. But perhaps there is some better term than
> implementation, something not involving discussing distributions and
> derivative works and so on? I.e. a term that can be introduced in one line
> of text and is even more clear?


Distribution?


>
>
>
>  - I might consider making the first example multiline. Most cringe at
>> the use of semicolons in a Python program, although I can understand
>> it might be easier for the newbie to type correctly.
>>
>
> Hm. I didn't know that about "most cringe at" semicolons in Python. But I
> still think the example is better on one line: short, concise, not
> introducing extra tool usage (which is what the reader absolutely *has* to
> relate to).
>
>
>
>  - You might mention how unit testing is used in interpreted languages
>> to detect many sorts of errors detected by the compiler in compiled
>> languages
>>
>
> Yes, later. Unit-testing is done also for statically type checked
> languages. The big difference lies in how much testing and at what time;
> this involves in particular test-driven development (TDD). And it's touchy.
> Proponents of this and that methodology will invariably argue that their
> methodology is best... :-)
>
>
>
> Cheers, & thanks,
>
> - Alf
>
> PS: I added back in [comp.programming], since I think it's simplest to have
> all the discussion, both Python-specific and general, in one single thread.
>
> --
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list
>



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