Feedback wanted on programming introduction (Python in Windows)

Alf P. Steinbach alfps at
Fri Oct 30 04:17:43 CET 2009

* bartc:
> "Alf P. Steinbach" <alfps at> wrote in message 
> news:hc8pn3$ddn$1 at
>> [Cross-posted comp.programming and comp.lang.python]
>> 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.
> Have you ever done technical writing before? With positive feedback?

Yes, and yes.

> You use the highly commercial-looking activatestate website; what's 
> wrong with

I guess "commercial looking" is something negative.

Please note regarding the question: I'm not a telepath. I don't know what you 
think is wrong with []. And I have no interest in evaluating the 
site for you, at least not unless you pay me for that job.

> You say elsewhere that you're not specifically teaching Python, but the 
> text is full of technical details specific to both Python

Yes. A programming language is required to do programming. Can't do without it, 

> and Windows, 

> not much actual programming!

Hm. There's /only/ programming in there and nothing else so far. But given that 
you think programming can be done without a programming language, I hypothesize 
that there is something to learn for you about what programming is. :-)

> Python has a lot of baggage which is OK if that's what's going to be 
> used, but otherwise is unnecessary confusion: where to put the program 
> code (typed in live or in a file, or some combination); whether to call 
> the file .py or .pyw; the difference between console and graphical 
> programs and so on.


Cheers & hth.,

- Alf

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