examining an initial, pristine python3 shell session

Alf P. Steinbach alfps at start.no
Wed Jan 20 15:40:59 CET 2010

* Alf P. Steinbach:
> * Robert P. J. Day:
>>   still working my way through "dive into python 3" and i've already
>> been asked to give a newbie tutorial on it -- blind leading the blind,
>> as it were.  that should be hilarious.
>>   i'll be using python 3 and it occurred to me that it would be
>> educational (at least for me :-) to display what an initial p3 shell
>> session looks like before doing any imports whatsoever.  as in, i run
>> "python3" on my fedora box and, at the ">>>" prompt, i want to show
>> what's already there for the new user.
>>   from what little i know so far, i'd start with:
>>>>> __name__
>> '__main__'
>> to display the name of the current scope(?).  backing up a bit, i
>> could run either of:
>>>>> dir()
>> ['__builtins__', '__doc__', '__name__', '__package__']
>>>>> globals()
>> {'__builtins__': <module 'builtins' (built-in)>, '__name__':
>> '__main__', '__doc__': None, '__package__': None}
>>   then i might go a bit further to examine some of *those* objects.  i
>> admit it might seem a bit dry, but i think it would be handy to have a
>> handle on what a clean shell session looks like before starting to
>> import things, then seeing how that importing changes the session
>> before getting down to actual programming.
>>   what other useful commands might i run immediately after starting a
>> session whose output would be informative?  i can certainly poke at
>> some of those objects to see them in more detail.  i'm just curious
>> what others might recommend.  thanks.
> That depends on what you mean by "newbie".
> If it's someone who knows a little bit of programming but is new to 
> Python, then 'help' would definitely be about the first thing I'd show her.

He he... Try "help antigravity". :-)

> But if it's someone who doesn't even know anything about programming, 
> then I'd recommend (blatant plug) <url: 
> http://tinyurl.com/programmingbookP3>  --  its first two chapters are 
> constructed around complete, concrete examples. However, you would have 
> to adapt just the *sense* of the first chapter, which is only about tool 
> usage, to *nix, since it's written for Windows. I'd not dive into 'help' 
> for the someone who doesn't know anything because it gets technical 
> pretty fast, and because she will get back to that on her own when it's 
> time.
> Whatever you do, and whatever the background of the newbie, do introduce 
> turtle graphics right away.
> The ch 2 of the above reference contains some t.g. examples that you 
> might use (initial silly figures, graphs of functions, recursive 
> figures). It doesn't go into the turtle module objects. But if objects 
> are what you want to show right away, then I think the turtle module is 
> great also for that, because those objects are simple and can be easily 
> explored.
> Cheers & hth.,
> - Alf

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