Feedback wanted on programming introduction (Python in Windows)

Martin P. Hellwig martin.hellwig at
Wed Oct 28 10:22:13 CET 2009

Alf P. Steinbach wrote:
> * tm:
>> On 28 Okt., 07:52, "Alf P. Steinbach" <al... at> wrote:
>>> [Cross-posted comp.programming and comp.lang.python]
>> Looking at your topic '(Python in Windows)', without taking a
>> glimpse at your actual introduction, I have the following to say:
>> I think it is not a good idea to teach programming with a focus
>> on a specific operating system. Programming should IMHO be taught
>> without reference to an operating system. Otherwise you just teach
>> how to write unportable programs.
> I think you're trolling a little. :-)
> Without reference to an OS you can't address any of the issues that a 
> beginner has to grapple with, including most importantly tool usage, 
> without which it's not even possible to get started, but also, very 
> importantly, a file system.
> Learning programming without tools and without using files (or only 
> using the common denominator for file systems in OSes X, Y and Z) is 
> sort of vacuous...
> In addition there's the motivational factor.

I conclude from this that your assumption is that the reader might not 
be competent enough to have basic portable knowledge of using a 
computer. Which is fair enough, however I would suggest writing an 
introduction to solve this fundamental absence of knowledge first before 
introducing concepts like programming in python for which already are a 
number of freely available/modifiable resources online.

I don't think it is a virtue to help adding to the pool of programmers 
unaware of the command line, whatever platform that might be.

But ignoring the above (I assumed and assumption you made, so it is 
likely I've got it totally wrong :-) ), I think that creating such a 
document provides a unique opportunity to document things that the more 
experienced developers take for granted but is a complete enigma for 
beginners in programming and using computers in general.

Good luck with your effort!

'If consumed, best digested with added seasoning to own preference.'

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