Python and Ruby

Ethan Furman ethan at
Fri Feb 5 00:46:58 CET 2010

Robert Kern wrote:
> On 2010-02-04 14:55 PM, Jonathan Gardner wrote:
>> On Feb 3, 3:39 pm, Steve Holden<st... at>  wrote:
>>> Robert Kern wrote:
>>>> On 2010-02-03 15:32 PM, Jonathan Gardner wrote:
>>>>> I can explain all of Python in an hour; I doubt anyone will understand
>>>>> all of Python in an hour.
>>>> With all respect, talking about a subject without a reasonable 
>>>> chance of
>>>> your audience understanding the subject afterwards is not explaining.
>>>> It's just exposition.
>>> I agree. If the audience doesn't understand then you haven't 
>>> explained it.
>> On the contrary, that explanation would have everything you need. It
>> would take an hour to read or listen to the explanation, but much more
>> than that time to truly understand everything that was said.
> Like I said, that's exposition, not explanation. There is an important 
> distinction between the two words. Simply providing information is not 
> explanation. If it takes four hours for your audience to understand it, 
> then you explained it in four hours no matter when you stopped talking.

And if it takes six months?  Would you seriously say it took you six 
months to explain something because it took that long for your audience 
to understand it?

At some point you have to make the transition from person A explaining 
and person(s) B understanding -- they don't necessarily happen 

As a real-life example, I've read several Python books, tutorials, and 
this list for quite some time, some of which has very good explanatory 
material, and yet some of the points I didn't fully comprehend until 
much, much later.  Every time, though, it's still the same reaction:  I 
*love* Python!  :D


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